Christie aide backtracks on forming presidential exploratory committee

Will Rahn Senior Editor
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Despite repeatedly ruling out a White House run, New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie just can’t seem to stop the widespread media speculation that he is gearing up for a presidential campaign.

Now one of the governor’s closest aides, Bill Palatucci, is reported to have told the New Jersey Courier – Post that Christie’s team is mulling the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.

“’I might frankly contemplate that,” Palatucci is quoted telling the paper. “There’s so much interest out there; it’s leaving money on the table by not having one.”

Shortly after the interview was published, Palatucci told Politico’s Maggie Haberman that he was not referring a presidential exploratory committee, but was instead saying he was considering the formation of a Political Action Committee (PAC) used by many politicians to raise funds and contribute to other candidates.

“I never said nor did I intend to imply that I or anyone else was considering an exploratory committee,” Palatucci told Politico. “I was musing about creating a federal committee.”

Last week, Christie told TheDC that he is definitely not running for president in 2012.

“What do I have to do short of suicide to convince people I’m not running?” Christie said after a speech to the American Enterprise Institute. “Apparently I actually have to commit suicide.”