As he launches re-election, Christie on Booker

PORT MONMOUTH – Standing in a local firehouse with first responders completing the setpiece on the day he announced his re-election, Gov. Chris Christie invoked one word and made it stick in his remarks, “Unity.”

“You’re the ones who are going to make it happen,” Christie said, referring to rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, moments after he acknowledged his plans to run again and noting that Sandy helped him decide in favor of pursuing re-election.

“Unity,” said the governor, speaking of the store owners and homeowners and the collective desire to make the shore right again after the devastating storm upended New Jersey.

As the governor basked in 77% approval ratings and the lingering impact of praise for his leadership performance during the hurricane, PolitickerNJ.com asked the governor about the man many regard could be his toughest challenger: Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

“I haven’t spoken to him in the last few days,” said the governor. 

They texted back and forth, but the exchange wasn’t political, Christie said.

Does he still have expectations that Booker won’t challenge him?

“My expectation is that any person who wants to run, will run,” the governor said.

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie