Christie: 'I think they love me in Iowa, too'


ABC US News | ABC Business News

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Thursday night he believes the voters in Iowa, the nation’s first presidential nominating state, love him.

Christie described himself at his core as "loving, caring, direct truth tell[ing]" during an interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC News.

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"That is who I am," he said. "And for some people, they love it. I will tell you when I travel around New Jersey, I hear from most people that that is the thing they love the most."

When asked if the same goes for voters in Iowa, Christie added: "I think they love me in Iowa, too, Dianne. I've been there a lot. I think they love me there, too."

Christie is seen a potential candidate for president in 2016, but he said Thursday he will likely not make a decision on a run until this time next year.

He has largely avoided early presidential nominating states this cycle. He has, however, taken a trip to Nevada and is scheduled to speak in front of the Republican Jewish Coalition there over the weekend. 

His polling numbers have dropped in recent months as a scandal surrounding the closure of toll lanes on the George Washington Bridge has surrounded his administration. 

Recent polls in Iowa have found 57 percent of Iowa adults disapprove of the way he has handled the situation. Another poll found 41 percent thought he would not make a good president, compared to 36 percent who thought the opposite. 

An internal probe conducted by lawyers hired by his administration found Thursday that Christie and other current members of his staff were not involved in the event. However, two other external reviews by the state legislature and the U.S. attorney are ongoing. 

Reiterating a point he made earlier this week, Christie said the bridge scandal will not factor in his decision to run in 2016. Two guiding questions are his family and whether he has something unique to offer the public. 

"Listen, I haven't made a decision about 2016, and I don't intend to make a decision in 2016 till a year from now. But there is nothing that happened here that changes the way I'll make that decision," he said. 

Christie said he did not believe his brash style inspired the lane closures. He said the event will ultimately make him a better leader. 

"What has happened in the last 10 weeks, I think ultimately will make me a better leader, whether it is governor of New Jersey or any other job that I might take in the public or private sector," he said.

Megyn Kelly of Fox News is slated to interview Christie for her program Friday.