New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday defended his potential to win the Republican presidential nomination despite his low approval ratings in his home state.
Mr. Christie has a 31 percent approval rating among New Jersey residents, a record low for his tenure as governor. But such approval ratings are not an indicator of his presidential campaign’s future success, the governor said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“That approval rating has gone down once I started to run for president, and it should be no shock,” Mr. Christie said. “You know, the fact is, when you start looking for another job, your current employer gets a little miffed. And that’s what has gone on here in New Jersey.”
He said that his “strong, effective leadership” in the face of winter Storm Jonas — which left at least 14 dead, more than 100,000 people without power and 11 states and Washington, D.C. in states of emergency this weekend — would redeem him in the eyes of voters.
“I don’t govern for approval ratings, I govern for results,” Mr. Christie said. “And that’s why the people of the United States should strongly consider supporting me for president of the United States, because when the chips are down, I deliver.”
He also blasted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a rival for the Republican nomination, for a joke he made about the storm freezing federal agencies from creating regulations and freezing President Obama’s veto pen.
“Fourteen people died across the country. And that shows a real immaturity from Senator Rubio to be joking as families were freezing in the cold, losing power and some of them losing loved ones,” Mr. Christie said. “But I don’t expect that Senator Rubio would be able to understand that, because he’s never had to make a decision of any consequence at all that he’s had to be held accountable for.”
He said that Mr. Rubio’s experience in the U.S. Senate was not preparation for the nation’s highest office.
“Voting yes or no in the United States Senate every day, sitting where they tell you to sit, coming when they tell you to come, leaving when they tell you to leave, it sounds like school to me, and not like the kind of job that the presidency is,” he said.
“So, unfortunately, I’m not surprised that Senator Rubio made those kind of ill-advised comments,” Mr. Christie said. “That shows his level of preparedness for the presidency, I suspect.”