Christie: GOP White House field has no front-runner yet

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Wednesday he does not have a favorite candidate in the field of potential 2012 Republican presidential aspirants.

Many Republicans have urged the popular governor to enter the race against President Obama, but Christie has repeatedly said he will not run. And he said it is too early to decide who is the best candidate to take on Obama.

ADVERTISEMENT
"Listen, I don't think there is a front-runner right now," he said on NBC's "Today" show. "I think the field's really wide open. I don't even know who the field's going to be entirely."

Even though many potential Republican candidates have left open the possibility of running, no top-tier candidate has officially entered the race, while two have turned down the chance to run.

Top potential GOP candidates include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

Though he named no favorites, Christie mentioned only Daniels and Barbour during his interview in the context of candidates who have yet to officially announce their candidacy.

"Is Mitch Daniels going to run? I don't know. Is Haley Barbour going to run? I don't know," he said.

Christie has been pushed to run by many high-profile Republicans, who like his fiscal austerity agenda and tough talk. But the New Jersey governor again denied he has interest in entering the race.

"There is no chance. Zero chance. Under any circumstances," he said.

The governor said he has no federal political action committee, a typical political organ formed by potential candidates, and has no plans to create one.

Christie also sought to tamp down speculation that he made a commitment to lose weight in order to prepare for a presidential bid.

"I started to do this because I have children between seven and 17 and I want to be there for them," he said. "It's just like New Jersey. We're not there yet, but we're getting closer."

-- This post was updated at 2:58 p.m.