Led by state Representative Kris Crawford, 10 conservative state represenatives from the first-in-the-south primary state of South Carolina held a press conference yesterday to draft New Jersey Governor Chris Christie into the presidential field.
“America needs a president who is fearless in the face of the special interests who want to live off the backs of taxpayers,” Crawford said.
On Tuesday, Christie told CNN’s Piers Morgan on “Piers Morgan Tonight” that he was 100% sure he would not be a candidate for the 2012 cycle but did leave the door open for a potential run in the future, perhaps in 2016.
With a field deemed to be lackluster, conservatives have clamored for Christie to run.
Last month, influential Republicans in Iowa flew to New Jersey to convince him to think about running.
Other candidates have gone to New Jersey in hopes of potentially seeking an endorsment from Christie, whose blunt talk and combativeness toward public sector unions has gained him traction even as questions remain about how sterling his conservative credentials may be.
Many Republicans, though, think Christie would bring considerable strenghts and would be a strong challenger to President Obama in a general election.
Any draft movement in South Carolina (sjince 1980, no Republican has won the nomination without carrying the Palmetto State), because of its importance as the first primary in the South in a party that is becoming more Southern, will not go unnoticed, particulary when it involves one of the biggest rising stars in the GOP field.
Others think Christie should strike while the knife is hot and run for President, especially considering his declining poll numbers in New Jersey and a re-election in 2013 that is far from guaranteed. Like Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is expected to enter the race, Christie may unite the Tea Party and establishment wings of the party and also have nothing to lose by throwing his hat into the ring.