- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

CLEVELAND — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday said that of “course” it was disappointing not to get selected as Donald Trump’s running mate, but said he never expected to get picked.

“I never expected to be chosen,” Mr. Christie said on NBC’s “Today” program. “Over the course of my 14-year relationship with Donald, he knows I’m going to be there for him, and he’s been there for me over the course of our relationship.”

“[I don’t] want to sugarcoat it, though — [of] course you’re disappointed,” he said. “If you compete for something like I did, you’d like to be picked. I wasn’t. So you take a deep breath, and you go to bed, and you wake up the next morning and get on with your day.”

Mr. Trump ultimately picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to be his running mate over Mr. Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, among others.

“If it wasn’t going to be me, I’m glad it was another governor — I’m glad it was Mike,” said Mr. Christie, a past chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Mr. Christie, who is scheduled to speak on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, appeared open to having an active role in a Trump administration, though he said it would depend on the role.

“It would depend on what was offered to me,” he said. “If Donald won and he offered me something that I felt I could really contribute to our country, then I would consider taking it.”

“At this point, I don’t have any plans to run for public office again, but you never know where life is going to bring you, and certainly I never thought life would bring me to this spot, so you don’t know where it’s going to go,” Mr. Christie said.

Mr. Christie also dismissed the controversy over the speech given by Melania Trump, Mr. Trump’s wife, on Monday at the GOP convention. A few passages from Mrs. Trump’s speech contained similar language to first lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

The governor said he couldn’t make a case for plagiarism.

“Not when 93 percent of the speech is completely different than Michelle Obama’s speech,” Mr. Christie said. “I think after tonight we won’t be talking about this — we’ll move onto whatever comes up tonight.”

“Having been friends with them for 14 years, that sounded like her to me last night, he said.

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