Chris Christie explained, “I would rather jump off the Brooklyn Bridge than be in Congress” during an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.
Christie suggested that his experience in dealing with a Democratic legislature as governor of New Jersey sets himself apart from the other presidential candidates who have served in government.
George Stephanopoulos: You’ve had a lot of tests. There seem to be two different campaigns going on. You have the outsiders Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump, Ben Carson. You, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich who have all served in government. What sets you apart in that second group?
Chris Christie: What sets me apart is that I’ve worked in one of the most hostile areas you never work as a Republican in the state of New Jersey where every day I wake up as an outsider. And you know what I’ve done? I’ve not only gotten things done like pension reform and tenure reform that people said could never get done, but also I’ve vetoed more than 400 bills. And every one of those vetoes has been sustained. That shows I can keep the Republican Party together. Maybe they should send me the House caucus to try to help them with that.
Stephanopoulos: You’re not running for speaker now, are you?
Christie: I am not, sir, no. I would rather jump off the Brooklyn Bridge than be in Congress. And secondly, Americans for Tax Reform just said this, George, two weeks ago. I’ve vetoed more tax increases than any governor in American history. And because of that, and every one of those vetoes being sustained, taxes are better. What people want in Washington is someone who knows how to do two things at once: stand up and say this is where I am, who I am, to say what I mean and mean what I say. And then also to be able to get people in a room and say, OK, now that we’ve set that out, let’s get something done. And that’s what I’ll do. That’s what I’ve done in New Jersey. Everyone else has had Republican legislatures on that list. I’m the only guy with a Democratic legislature that’s brought people together.
There is not a requirement to be a current member of the House of Representative to become speaker, so Christie could technically become the next Speaker of the House. (RELATED: Chaffetz: ‘You Don’t Just Give An Automatic Promotion To The Existing Leadership Team’)