Christie: Running against friend Jeb Bush would be hard

Christie: Running against friend Jeb Bush would be hard

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie attends the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce 77th annual dinner in Washington on April 22, 2014. Christie is a potential Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

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by CATALINA CAMIA

USA TODAY

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 1:30 PM

If Chris Christie and Jeb Bush both decided to run for president in 2016, the New Jersey governor predicted it would be difficult because of their friendship.

Asked to explain his comments that running against the former Florida governor would be “stressful,” Christie said Wednesday he was responding to a question using one of the word choices given to him. (The question about Bush was posed Tuesday during his monthly “Ask the Governor” radio program.)

“I like Jeb. I respect him,” Christie told Bob Schieffer of CBS News on Wednesday. “You don’t like to run against people who are your friends.”

Despite their relationship, Christie said Bush will not be a factor as he tries to decide about his political future.

Both men are considered to be in the top tier of potential GOP candidates and would likely divide longtime Republican activists and fundraisers who backed the presidential campaigns of Bush’s father and brother.

“I know I’d have fun with Jeb on the campaign trail,” Christie said, calling him “one of the nicest people” and noting they have similar beliefs on policy issues such as education.

On other topics, Christie vowed to offer ideas next week that would address his state’s pension liabilities and close New Jersey’s $800 million budget deficit — two issues that have raised criticism from Democrats. He reiterated his support for a “gradual” increase on the minimum wage and said the scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge would become a “footnote.”

Christie was interviewed by Schieffer at the 2014 Fiscal Summit sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

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