New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced today what he has said numerous times over the last several months: he is not running for president. Christie scheduled a press conference and the governor made a final statement indicating he will not join the crowded Republican field seeking to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama next year.
“In the end, what I always felt was the right decision, remains the right decision today. Now is not my time,” he said. “Now is not my time. I have a commitment to New Jersey that I simply will not abandon. New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me.”
“The deciding factor was that it did not feel right to me, in my gut, to leave now when the job isn’t finished,” he said, adding that his family had told him he had their full support had he decided to run.
Christie also focused on defeating Obama, saying, “I think the country will be better by making sure President Obama is a one-termer” but he said he would not issue an endorsement now. The governor said Obama “has failed the American people” and did not possess strong leadership skills. Christie says if he endorses, he will back someone who “gives us the best chance to defeat” Obama in 2012.
About a potential vice-presidential bid, he said, “I don’t think there’s anybody in America who would think my personality is best suited to be number two.”
Governor Christie, for his part, said after a well-received speech at the American Enterprise Institute in February that he was definitely not running for president. “What do I have to do short of suicide to convince people I’m not running?” Christie joked. “Apparently I actually have to commit suicide.”
The race for the Republican nomination currently has Mitt Romney leading the way, with Herman Cain and Rick Perry tied for second place. The same poll, conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post, shows Christie would have the support of 10 percent of Republicans had he decided to enter the race.
Christie has earned high praise from pro-life advocates for repeatedly vetoing state taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business, saying it didn’t need taxpayer funds in part because clinics are available across the state that provide health care for women without also doing abortions and because the state is facing a tough financial crunch.
In August, Christie visited the Southern Jersey Family Medical Center’s Burlington City Health Center to kick off National Health Center Week.
“The Burlington City Health Center and all of our New Jersey community health centers are an essential part of our health safety net for those who otherwise would not have a medical home,” Christie said, according to Newsroom Jersey. “These centers offer affordable, high-quality care to residents and families in need. I am proud of the strong support my administration has provided for community health centers in the budget – $113 million in Medicaid and $46.4 million for the uninsured. With this assistance, we are making sure the people and communities who rely on these services lead healthy lives now and in the future.”
The visit and Christie’s actions de-funding Planned Parenthood have gone over well with pro-life groups like New Jersey Right to Life.
Marie Tasy, Executive Director of New Jersey Right to Life told LifeNews that Christie is a stark contrast to pro-abortion President Barack Obama, who has done everything possible to expand Planned Parenthood funding.
“Unlike Governor Christie who has freed NJ taxpayers from complicity with the nation’s largest abortion provider, Obama is doing the bidding of Planned Parenthood by forcing citizens to pay for contraceptives and abortion inducing drugs in health insurance plans,” she said.
During a speech in Janaury, Christie made it clear he takes a strongly pro-life stance on abortion.
“I stand with you,” on opposing abortion, the governor told the crowd, and “with each and every one of those precious human lives.”
“What we need to do each and every day is to live our lives in a way that encourages everyone to understand why this cause is so important,” Christie said, according to the Asbury Park Press. ”To show that we respect the life of every human being, and that every human being is one of God’s creatures and deserves the love and respect that God gives to all us.”
“As long as I have the honor of serving as governor, you will know you will have someone sitting in that office who understands the issue, who appreciates it and will continue to stand up and speak strongly in favor for the protection of every human life in New Jersey.”
Christie said elected officials who are pro-life must “speak loudly and clearly (and) leave no ambiguity about how we feel about this issue.”
Talking about his own views, Christie added: “As you all may know this is not an issue that I always understood nor was I always on your side. It is an issue I came to grow and learn about in a very personal way. My daughter Sarah will turn 15 in February. When I heard her heartbeat at three months in our doctor’s office, it was at that moment that it became clear to me that being on the sidelines on this issue was not something I could live with. I needed to speak out in favor of a very simple idea, that that child is a life which deserves protection.”