Gov. Chris Christie Sets Forth Rationale for 2016 Candidacy in Speech to GOP Party Leaders: “I’m in this Business to Win” – 8/15/13

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Gov. Chris Christie spoke privately today to a group of Republican Party leaders, and it appears he was a big hit with them. Christie reportedly sounded very much like a man who is definitely going to run for President in 2016. He is said to have set forth a rationale for a candidacy, and made it clear if he runs, it will be “to win”:

POLITICO: With 82 days until his likely reelection as governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie laid out his clearest rationale yet Thursday for an almost-certain 2016 presidential campaign: He can win.

Speaking privately to Republican leaders here for the party’s summer meeting, he touted his crossover appeal and presented himself as the party’s most electable option to win back the White House in 2016.

“We are not a debating society,” Christie said. “We are a political operation that needs to win.”

The 41-minute luncheon speech was closed to reporters at Christie’s insistence, sources said, but an attendee at the meeting offered a full recording of the governor’s uncharacteristically revealing comments to POLITICO.

The 168 members of the Republican National Committee are the party’s establishment, and the governor grasped hard for the mantle of establishment favorite.

“He connects with this group,” said Republican elder statesman Ron Kaufman. “This is his team.”

Preemptively defending the more moderate elements of his record without dwelling on them, Christie said the GOP is “bound for defeat” if voters have a litmus test that a candidate must agree with them 100 percent.

“I’m in this business to win,” he said. “I don’t know why you’re in it…I think that we have some folks that believe that our job is to be college professors. Now college professors are fine, I guess. You know, college professors basically spout out ideas that nobody ever does anything about. For our ideas to matter, we have to win because, if we don’t win, we don’t govern. And if we don’t govern, all we do is shout into the wind. So I am going to do anything I need to do to win!” . . . Read More

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