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Group urging Chris Christie to enter GOP race

Sept. 27, 2011 at 10:19 PM
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SIMI VALLEY, Calif., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, asked Tuesday whether he will run for president, referred a questioner to online clips in which he has said he will not run.

"Click on it now. Those are the answers," Christie said during a question-and-answer sessions following his speaking appearance at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. He was referring specifically to a montage of clips posted at Politico.com in which he repeatedly says he is not running for the Republican nomination for president.

Republican activists and donors have formed a Draft Christie committee to try to urge him to jump into the race. In recent months, Christie has been approached to consider a run amid growing concerns about the current cast of candidates, The New York Times reported Monday.

There has been so much talk about the prospect that Christie turned it into a laugh line, noting that the first question from the audience Tuesday was not about his political future, but about immigration issues.

"You folks are an incredible disappointment as an audience," he said to laughter. "The fact that that took until the second question shows you people are off your game."

Among the coterie urging Christie to run are billionaire Home Depot founder Kenneth G. Langone, Paul E. Singer, a hedge fund magnate and highly courted donor, and David H. Koch, the industrialist and Tea Party benefactor named by Forbes magazine as the richest man in New York.

Personal investment guru Charles R. Schwab is among those who have expressed interest in seeing Christie enter the race, published reports indicate. Also interested are financier Stanley F. Druckenmiller, and hedge-fund managers David Tepper and Daniel S. Loeb, the Times said.

"Christie understands what it is like to be a Republican in the Northeast," Lynn Krogh, a Republican campaign consultant in New York, told the Times. "He's practical. He's not just a barn-burner."

Chatter about Christie's presidential prospects has increased recently after the Committee for Our Children's Future unveiled a $1.5 million television advertising campaign in New Jersey to promote Christie's accomplishments. Christie is attending fundraisers in three states this week, raising money for the New Jersey Republican Party.

The appearance in Simi Valley was part of a three-state tour Christie embarked on Monday, when he visited Missouri. He is to visit Louisiana Thursday.

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