Gov. Christie: “Nobody is handed these things…You’ve got to earn it.”
Interview To Air Tomorrow, Thursday, April 16 on TODAY
APRIL 15, 2015 — In an NBC News exclusive, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tells Matt Lauer that Hillary Clinton will “have to earn the nomination” from the Democratic party. Speaking in his first national interview since Clinton launched her 2016 campaign, Christie says Clinton’s 2008 campaign shows nothing is a “foregone conclusion.” The interview airs tomorrow, Thursday, April 16 on NBC News’ TODAY.
Christie tells Lauer he does not know if he will run in the 2016 presidential election saying that he’s “been the frontrunner before” and it’s “a place where the bullseye’s on your back and everybody is shooting at you.”
A portion of Lauer’s interview aired tonight on “NBC Nightly News.” A link to the embeddable video is available here: http://nbcnews.to/1DklBqj
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Excerpts from the interview follow. If used, please credit NBC News’ TODAY with air date of Thursday, April 16.
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GOV. CHRISTIE ON HILLARY CLINTON: “NOBODY IS HANDED THESE THINGS”
MATT LAUER: She’s a forgone conclusion it seems on the Democratic side. You agree to that?
GOV. CHRISTIE: She was a forgone conclusion in 2007, Matt. So was Rudy Giuliani, a forgone conclusion in 2007. You know we’ve had lots of forgone conclusions in American politics.
MATT LAUER: So who do you think you see on the horizon on the Democratic side that could jump up and derail Mrs. Clinton’s run?
GOV. CHRISTIE: I don’t know. Barack Obama was down by 30 points at this time in 2007 to Hillary Clinton. So I don’t know. Again it’s about performance Matt. The President of the United States, agree with him or disagree with him, has twice performed pretty well as a candidate. He performed very well against Secretary Clinton before she was Secretary Clinton.
Alright, so I don’t know what’s going to happen on the Democratic side, Mrs. Clinton’s going to have to perform so she’s going to have to earn the nomination. Nobody is handed these things. This is the nomination for President of the United States you’ve got to earn it. You’ve got to earn it and you’ve got to perform. People are tough on us. As well as they should be. if you’re going to be president.
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GOV. CHRISTIE ON A POTENTIAL 2016 BID: “I DON’T KNOW” IF MOMENT HAS PASSED
MATT LAUER: There was a time where, when people talked about 2016, all of the buzz on the Republican side was about you. Is it possible that while you were dealing, and I don’t want to call them distractions because that makes them sound trivial, with these serious issues of Bridgegate back in New Jersey, that your moment passed?
GOV. CHRISTIE: I don’t know and neither do you. We’ll see. But I tell you this much, I’ve been the frontrunner before. It’s a place where the bullseye’s on your back and everybody is shooting at you. So that’s ok. I’m fine with exactly where I am right now because I haven’t changed. And when we start to talk, if we run, about really serious issues that face this country, I have an opportunity to be able to convince people the same way I would have had to convince them otherwise, Matt, because all of that is artificial until the game really begins and the game hasn’t even come close to beginning.
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