Here are the extended quotes of the New Jersey Governor from Rich Lowry over at National Review.
Yes. Believe me, I’ve been interested in politics my whole life. I see the opportunity. But I just don’t believe that’s why you run. Like I said at AEI, I have people calling me and saying to me, “Let me explain to you how you could win.” And I’m like, “You’re barking up the wrong tree. I already know I could win.” That’s not the issue. The issue is not me sitting here and saying, “Geez, it might be too hard. I don’t think I can win.” I see the opportunity both at the primary level and at the general election level. I see the opportunity.
But I’ve got to believe I’m ready to be president, and I don’t. And I think that that’s the basis you have to make that decision. I think when you have people who make the decision just based upon seeing the opportunity you have a much greater likelihood that you’re going to have a president who is not ready. And then we all suffer from that. Even if you’re a conservative, if your conservative president is not ready, you’re not going to be good anyway because you’re going to get rolled all over the place in that town.
I just see how much better I get at this job every day, and I do, and I learn things. If not every day, at least every week. And my wife and I were actually talking about this last night. We had dinner together with the family after the [New Jersey budget] speech and she was saying how much better she thought I was yesterday than I had been before in my speech. She said, “You are getting better.”
That’s just the nature of life. So, I see the opportunity, I recognize and understand it and I’m really flattered that people think of me that way. But, if I don’t believe it in here [pointing to his heart], I’m not going to be a good candidate on top of everything else.
And remember in the context of sitting there on election night 2009, and my wife and I were convinced we were going to lose. It is a bit to get your arms around, too. You’re a successful United States attorney and then within a year of that time you have people talking about you and I was running around campaigning for folks. All of these handmade “Christie for President” signs in the crowds when I was in Michigan and Iowa and all the other places that I went, Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida. It’s also been overwhelming, too.
Like I said before, I am who I am and people have to trust, they don’t have to but they should trust, my instincts on this. I know me better than anyone else knows me. If I felt like I was ready, I’d go, but I’m not. But I’m also not going to go if I don’t think I’m ready.
When I walked into the Governor’s office last January there have been some difficult days in the job. There has never been a day where I’ve felt like I’m over my head, I don’t know what to do, I’m lost. I don’t know whether I’d feel the same way if I walked into the Oval Office a year and a half from now. So, unless you get yourself to the point where you really believe you have a shot to be successful, then I don’t think you have any business running for it.
But, sometimes Governor fate enters into the equation and you have to be more confident. I think you should consider the race and so should Mitch Daniels.