New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) praised former-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday, saying it'd be "fun" to run alongside his "friend" in a potential 2016 Republican presidential primary.
"I like Jeb. I respect him and I consider him a friend. I consider President Bush 43 a friend. And you don't like to run against people who are your friends. You'd rather run against people who you don't like, right? It's easier," Christie said as the crowd of about 200 people laughed.
"It won't determine my decision and I suspect that it won't determine his decision either. You know, we have to make our own independent decisions about whether to run for president or not," Christie said. "But the only positive is that I know I'd have fun with Jeb on the campaign trail. We believe in a lot of the same things. I think we're very similar in terms of our approach to solving problems and I also think he's one of the nicest people I've had the chance to meet in public life. So you know, he's a good guy. I like him."
CBS News's Bob Scheiffer asked Christie whether the recent investigations into his staff's forcing lane closures of the George Washington Bridge last year would impact his political future. Christie jabbed the Washington media for focusing so much attention on the investigations.
"As far as the impact on my political future, I think it will have none because I didn't do anything. So listen, I understand the circus that this becomes," Christie said. "All of a sudden a couple of staff people do something that they shouldn't have done. I fired them and that becomes the biggest story in the country for a couple of months because I guess you guys weren't doing anything else down here so this is what needed to be focused on. Right?"
Christie continued: "Now you have all kinds of people looking at this for nearly four-and-a-half months now and there hasn't been one suggestion that I knew anything about it."
He said it's not going to hurt his career.
"I saw President Clinton backstage before," Christie said. "I'm not the first chief executive who had someone on their staff do something that they disapproved them and then had to fire them. I don't think that hurt anybody's career and it's not going to hurt mine."