Christie in Palm Beach County: focus on New Jersey, 2014 governor races; not 2016 — yetby George Bennett | January 19th, 2014
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told GOP megadonors assembled in northern Palm Beach County Sunday that he’ll focus on governing at home and helping Republicans win governorships this year before contemplating a 2016 presidential bid.
Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He joined Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Saturday for fundraisers in Orlando, Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale and spent Sunday afternoon at a meet-and-greet with Republican contributors at the oceanfront home of Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone in Lost Tree Village.
“He said that the important thing was to focus on winning elections this year…It’s important to make those elections successful and that’s what he’s going to focus on,” said Al Hoffman, the former Republican National Committee finance chairman who lives nearby and attended the event at Langone’s home.
Hoffman estimated that about 70 people attended.
“He said all the right things I think and I think he looked tired, but I think that he was collected and calm and very cool under the circumstances,” Hoffman said.
“The circumstances,” of course, are a controversy in the Garden State over top Christie aides apparently ordering the shutdown of traffic lanes heading to the George Washington Bridge last year to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee. With legislative committees issuing 20 subpoenas last week and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz holding news conferences in Florida to trash Christie, the New Jersey governor avoided the media all weekend.
Republican strategist and CNN contributor Ana Navarro attended a Scott-Christie fundraiser in Palm Beach on Saturday and attended Sunday’s event at Langone’s home.
While Hoffman said Christie appeared tired, Navarro said he looked peppier than on Saturday.
“Big difference,” Navarro said on Twitter. “….he got a haircut. Looks much more rested, stronger today.”
Navarro also tweeted that Christie brought up New Jersey issues and said: “I haven’t enjoyed last 11 days; no sane person would. Life presents challenges; u have to deal w/them.”
Navarro said Christie said he will focus “doing what’s right” in his home state and on this year’s governor races. On the subject of a 2016 presidential bid, Navarro quoted Christie as saying “Come see me next year.”