Veteran journalist Geraldo Rivera said Monday he’d “take the call” if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wanted to appoint him to New Jersey’s vacant U.S. Senate seat, but acknowledged the chances of that seem slim.
“I would definitely take the call,” Rivera said on the “Geraldo Rivera Radio Show.”
He made the comments on his show after The Daily Caller inquired about his interest in the seat after the news that 89-year-old New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg died Monday.
Before Lautenberg’s death, Rivera had been open on his show about potentially running in 2014 as a Republican.
But on Monday, Rivera said “I’m the last person I believe Gov. Christie will consider right now.”
“I’m not spending too much time obsessing over that,” he said. “I think it’s a very, very long shot that Gov. Christie would even think of me, appointing me. I haven’t been vetted. I’ve only kind of toyed with the idea of running.”
He also said Monday that because Christie will now appoint somebody, “I think effectively this ends my speculation that I would run for the Senate.”
“I can’t imagine he will pick me,” Rivera said. “He’ll pick somebody important.”
“There will be Republicans and Democrats like planes waiting to land at LaGuardia looking to Gov. Chris Christie for the appointment,” he added.
Still, that didn’t stop Rivera on Monday from discussing what his hypothetical campaign would be like.
“If I ran, I’d have a very specific platform,” he said, “and I think listeners of this program are becoming aware of the fact that you can be Republican and not be a tea party conservative. You know the fact that Republicans have to moderate, and have to modify their stances on a lot of issues, like immigration, like gay marriage, like the right to choose.”
Rivera also used his show to reflect on Lautenberg, who had been a guest on his shows over the years.
“He was a frequent guest of my old CNBC show,” he said. “So I’ve known him for decades. And even though we anticipated this after became severely ill at the age of 89, it’s still a tragedy and we lament his passing.”