New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has said it in just about every way possible — he doesn't intend to run for president next year. But it's not because he has any doubt he would win.
"I already know I could win," Christie told the conservative magazine National Review in a recent interview. "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."
In the newly published comments from the magazine's exchange with the governor, Christie again lays out his case for not running in 2012 despite the clear opportunity he sees in a potential bid.
"I've gotta believe that I'm ready to be president, and I don't," he said. "And I think that that's the basis you have to make that decision."
Christie's emphatic denials come as he continues to act like a potential presidential candidate. The governor made a high-profile speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington last week, where he laid into President Obama and Washington Republicans for not doing enough to tackle the nation's fiscal crisis.
While some national Republicans still think Christie shouldn't be counted out of the 2012 race just yet, the governor has taken as clear a public stance as any rumored hopeful against a bid, repeatedly telling reporters he doesn't feel like he's ready for the job.
"There has never been a day where I've felt like I'm over my head," Christie told National Review of his current role as New Jersey governor. "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."