National Review's Robert Costa has spoken to Chris Christie's father who claims the New Jersey governor is getting a lot of support from his family to run for president including himself.
In a brief segment on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" Friday, Costa told host Chuck Todd that Christie is back in Trenton and will be making a decision this weekend (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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CHUCK TODD, HOST: Well, the Chris Christie waiting game goes on in the world of presidential politics, and while the governor won't commit to a run, conservatives won't give up hope that he's the candidate they've been waiting for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NEW JERSEY): In the end, what people want in tough times more than anything else is for their leaders to lead and to lead by telling you the truth. And the truth is we got a lot of challenges in America we have to face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Robert Costa is a political reporter for National Review and has had all sorts of scoopage when it comes to all things having to do with Chris Christie, New Jersey Republicans, Tom Kean Sr., Tom Kean Jr. You spoke with Christie’s father..
ROBERT COSTA, NATIONAL REVIEW: That’s right.
TODD: …over the last 48 hours. What have you learned today?
COSTA: What I’ve learned is that Chris Christie came home to Trenton last night, and Friday, Saturday, Sunday this is when the decision is going to be made. His family supportive. His father supports it. His brother Todd supports it. His wife Mary Pat most importantly supports the idea. Now it’s just going to come down to donors, and from what I've heard in Trenton over these past few days the money is there. It all just comes down to whether Chris Christie can pull the trigger.
TODD: And so it's him. It’s not anybody else around him. I mean, that sort of the point that I think your reporting has been trying to make?
COSTA: One thing I've really learned, Chuck, is that Chris Christie is his own political adviser. He's a political operative and thinker in his own right. This is not a creation of consultants. From when he was running for state assembly in 1995 he was a freeholder in Morris County. This is a man who makes his own political decisions. And this comes down to him He's been traveling with Bill Palatucci and other senior advisers. But this comes down to Chris Christie and really how he thinks he can get swayed into the election. And this week every single close person to Christie has changed his mind. His reception in Louisiana, in California, in Missouri has had a big impact.
TODD: You know Robert, though, he's been through this before on a smaller scale in 2005 and in late 2004 there was a concerted effort among New Jersey Republicans to get Chris Christie to run for governor at the time when Jon Corzine was a sitting senator running for governor and he got right to the brink and took a pass. Is that in the back of his mind?
COSTA: I think so. He has lost local elections before. He's come to the brink before in that gubernatorial race. I think Chris Christie is now 50/50. A week ago he was 90/10 leaning against it. Now from people close to Chris Christie it's 50/50. It’s nothing really closer to that. He is open to the idea but you're right. This is a tentative politician. He does not like to take risks in a lot of ways. He does like to fight, but he’s not someone who is going to make a rash decision.
TODD: Robert Costa with National Review. Robert, thanks for coming on this morning, bringing us the latest on that.
COSTA: Thanks, Chuck.
Will he or won't he?