TIME 2016 Election

Christie Seeks Common Ground With Iowa Conservatives

Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie arrives to speak at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines
Jim Youg—Reuters Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie arrives to speak at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa on Jan. 24, 2015.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie brought a clear message to skeptical Iowa conservatives Saturday: We may not always agree, but you can work with me.

Christie spoke toward the end of a daylong 2016 presidential cattle call hosted by Iowa Representative Steve King, highlighting his fights with unions in his home state and his pro-life stance on abortion. Christie’s participation in the event turned heads, given King’s hard-line position on immigration and the audience’s more conservative bent. Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney both skipped the event on account of scheduling issues, and proved to be frequent targets on stage from other would-be candidates and activists.

Christie has spent years trying to reach across the aisle in preparation for a presidential run but has been dogged by questions whether he could win over the party’s base.

“I have heard and read all the conventional wisdom that somehow a guy from New Jersey would not be welcomed or understood at the Iowa Freedom Summit — that somehow I’m too loud, I’m too blunt, and I’m too direct,” Christie said, as the crowd chuckled. “The conventional wisdom from Washington, D.C., that says we aren’t friends … They’re wrong again today.”

King used his introduction to boost Christie’s conservative credentials. “He vetoed the gay-marriage bill in New jersey,” he said. “He is pro-life.” Christie has since declared gay marriage a “settled” issue in his state after the state supreme court declined to stop same-sex unions in 2013.

Speaking calmly and slowly, Christie was self-effacing about “the blunt New Jersey stuff,” using it to introduce himself to Iowa voters with the story of his childhood.

“In a trusting relationship, you need to tell people what you really believe and what you’re thinking,” he said, noting he’s sure that not everyone would agree with him on every issue. “You’ll always know who I am, you’ll always know what I believe, and you’ll always know where I stand.”

He argued that if the party is looking for purity, “we will never win another national election. Ever.”

Reading off prepared remarks, Christie’s speech was an amalgamation of his notable addresses of the past several years, presenting the clearest preview of a full-fledged presidential stump speech.

“The next century does not have to be a Chinese century,” he said, calling for stronger American leadership overseas. “The world can’t do without a second American century.” His opposition to abortion was juxtaposed with his efforts in improving his state’s drug treatment programs to be “pro-life” at all stages of life.

He highlighted his electoral success in his blue home state, noting he won Hispanic voters and made inroads with black voters in his last election.

“We need a coalition that covers all parts of the country, all ethnicities, a coalition that is comprised at its core of our proud, yet underserved and underrepresented working class in this nation,” he said, in an implicit critique of former Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. He even alluded to growing income inequality, adding, “The rich are doing fine, that’s great. We don’t demonize the wealthy like so many folks in the Democratic Party, but nor should we cater to the wealthy at the expense of our middle-income workers and the working poor who are the backbone of every American community.”

Christie’s reception paled in comparison to Senator Ted Cruz, whose faith-themed address was red meat for the audience. But Christie accomplished what he sought out: demonstrating he is unafraid to appear before social conservatives and proving that he could even earn a standing ovation. In a crowded field where he will hope to have the support of the party’s establishment, that may be enough to go the distance.

TIME governors

Chris Christie Has Been Gifted 77 Weight-Loss Books While in Office

<> on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey.
Andrew Burton—2015 Getty Images New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives the annual State of the State address on January 13, 2015 in Trenton, New Jersey.

Titles include The Macho Man Diet and Leave the Cannoli, Take the Weights

Of the 1,100 gifts Chris Christie has received from the public since taking office five years ago, 600 are books, 77 of which are about diet, weight loss, exercise or bariatric surgery.

The gifts include CDs, DVDs and kits, NJ.com reports, and they come from authors and readers alike. Even Dr. Mehmet Oz sent the New Jersey governor a copy of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live.

While Christie has thanked supporters who’ve noticed his weight loss since his bariatric surgery two years ago, he prefers to keep the topic of his size a private matter. We’re guessing not all 77 of these titles have a permanent home on the Christies’ bookshelves.


TIME 2016 Election

Christie’s State of the State Focused More on the Nation

Chris Christie
Julio Cortez—AP New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his State Of The State address on Jan. 13, 2015, in Trenton, N.J.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered his fifth State of the State address Tuesday, but it sounded more like a presidential announcement.

Less than two years away from Election Day, Christie sent his firmest signal yet that he intends to run for the White House in 2016, with a decidedly national theme, coming off a 2014 spent traveling the country on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidates. “We need a New Jersey renewal and we need an American renewal,” Christie declared several months before he is expected to make his candidacy official.

The speech comes a day after Christie secured the backing of former Republican National Committee Finance Chair Ray Washburne for his future presidential campaign and a day before Christie is scheduled to attend a meet-and-greet with donors in South Carolina, a presidential early state.

Teasing at a possible presidential campaign theme, Christie says what he saw across the country during his travels was “a nation beset by anxiety.”

“It is understandable,” Christie said, delivering an implicit critique of the Obama administration. “Economic growth is low by post-war recovery standards. America’s leadership in the world is called into question because of a pattern of indecision and inconsistency.”

“We need to address this anxiety head on,” he continued. “We need to renew the spirit and the hopes of our state, our country and our people.”

Christie’s remarks contrast his leadership of New Jersey with the “Washington way,” hailing his own conservative record of opposing tax increases and holding up his leadership of the state as a model for the nation.

The governor devoted much of his address to highlighting his efforts to tackle drug addiction and mental health in the state, announcing the creation of a statewide call number to allow those in need with a one-stop access to services. He also marked a longstanding effort to turn around the long-blighted city of Camden, which has seen a surge in public and private investment under Christie after decades of decline.

The address coincides with a drop in Christie’s approval rating in the state as he eyes higher office. Christie sought to cast his state’s economic progress in a positive light, pointing to a declining unemployment rate and balanced budget, even as its reality is far murkier. The governor avoided discussing efforts to confront fiscal turmoil in Atlantic City and avoided specifics on dealing with mounting pension costs that have caused repeated credit downgrades.

The presidential hopeful briefly alluded to the ongoing drama surrounding the politically-motivated closure of approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge by Christie aides in 2013. Christie has denied wrongdoing, but a federal probe into the incident continues. “In a year with plenty of politics from some overly partisan corners of this chamber, New Jersey has made progress,” Christie said.

Illustrating the out-of-state focus of the speech, Christie met off the record with national reporters before his address, leaving out members of his state press corps.

In a web video posted Tuesday to coincide with the address, the Democratic National Committee mocked Christie’s record and presidential ambitions.

TIME 2016 Election

Shots Fired: Scott Walker Bashes Chris Christie Over Football

Scott Walker
Jeffrey Phelps—AP Scott Walker Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker practices the presidential point on March 3, 2014 in Milwaukee.

People are still talking about the giddy embrace

The 2016 Republican presidential primary heated up a little more today as Scott Walker took a populist shot at Chris Christie over football.

Despite being governor of New Jersey, Christie is a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys and took some criticism for an enthusiastic bear hug of team owner Jerry Jones after the Cowboys’ playoff victory Sunday.

Walker didn’t criticize Christie’s choice of teams, per se, but he did take an indirect dig at the fact that he was in the owners’ box after flying to the game on a private jet paid for by the team owner:

As head of the Republican Governors Association, Christie campaigned in Wisconsin for Walker’s re-election in September, though now that both governors are gunning for the same outside-Washington slot in the 2016 primary, it looks like the gloves are going to come off.


No Lawsuit Can Stop Chris Christie–Jerry Jones Bromance

In this midst of all this hugging and high-fiving, the NFL is suing Dallas' good luck charm. Is the Jones-Christie friendship appropriate?

What’s a little lawsuit between best buds?

There’s plenty to poke fun at while watching the bromance between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his good luck charm, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, play out on national television and all those subsequent Vines. The sweater. The unreciprocated hug. The fact that Christie, a lifelong Cowboys fan, runs a state stocked with fans of the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, who all hate America’s team.

But there’s something else that’s funny about the Jones-Christie pairing, something that most fans are probably missing. Jones, an NFL owner, is whooping it up with a man who the league is actually suing.

Well, maybe funny is the wrong word. “It’s definitely weird,” says Ryan Rodenberg, a sports law professor at Florida State University who has closely followed Christie’s attempts to legalize sports betting in New Jersey, despite the legal complaints of the NFL and other major sports leagues. In October, the NFL — along with the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NHL, and the NCAA, sued Christie and two other New Jersey officials, arguing that the state’s plan to move forward with sports gambling violated a 1992 federal law that bans it in every state except for Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. A federal judge agreed, but the Third Circuit Court of Appeals is now taking up the case.

Christie and betting proponents argue that sports books could increase revenues and create jobs, particularly in struggling Atlantic City. The league argued that legalized betting can cause “irreparable harm,” i.e. participants have more incentives to fix games, even though such opportunities have already long existed in the underground betting market. (NBA commissioner Adam Silver has already called for the legalization of sports betting, through a federal law change. He says he still opposes New Jersey’s attempt to circumvent the current statute).

Is all this palling around between Jones and Christie appropriate, given the legal fight? “Maybe it’s just the way business is done at that echelon, people don’t take things personally,” says Rodenberg. “It’s not something I can relate to.” A New Jersey taxpayer can look at it this way: my governor is high-fiving a major shareholder of an entity that’s trying to squash legislation that will benefit my state economically. The NFL can look at this way: one of our most high-profile owners is celebrating with a man who’s trying to bring us irreparable harm.

But Jones himself isn’t suing Christie. The NFL league office in New York, along with the other leagues, brought the suit forward: the NFL did not put the proposed litigation to an owner’s vote. (A Cowboys spokesman did not return a request for comment. A Christie spokesman declined to comment.) And even Raymond Lesniak, a Democratic state senator in New Jersey and self-described Christie critic, excuses the governor’s behavior, chalking it up to sports fandom. Lesniak, who’s been trying to get sports betting legislation passed for six years, is more bothered by Christie accepting a free ticket to Dallas from Jones after the Port Authority, which is controlled by Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — and whose ethics have been questioned in Bridgegate — awarded a contract to operate the One World Trade Center observatory to a company partly owned by the Cowboys. He’s peeved that the NFL is fighting sports betting in New Jersey, even though it staged three games this season in London, where betting parlors dot the streets like Starbucks.

Lesniak, however, goes to New York Giants games and supports the team, even though he doesn’t support the league’s policies. So he won’t bash the governor for living a fan’s fantasy. “I’ll give him a pass,” Lesniak says. “And I don’t give him a pass often.”

Jones wants Christie in Green Bay on Sunday, for Dallas’ next playoff game: the Cowboys are 5-0 in games Christie has attended this season. “He’s part of our mojo,” Jones said. As of Tuesday evening, Christie still had not decided whether he’d make the trip. Safe bet: if Christie has any ambitions of taking Texas in 2016, he’ll be living it up in Lambeau.

MONEY Workplace

Why Smart People Send Stupid Emails That Can Ruin Their Careers

Producer Scott Rudin and Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal attend the Sony Pictures Classic 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards Party held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.
Neilson Barnard—Getty Images Producer Scott Rudin and Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal publicly apologized for racially insensitive emails.

High-profile email leaks show, once again, the danger of assuming that what you write is for the recipient's eyes only.

What were they thinking?

When Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin were exchanging their now infamous emails, leaked in the Sony Pictures Entertainment hacking scandal, they clearly weren’t worried about what would happen to their careers if anyone else read their notes.

You have to wonder why not: Companies routinely monitor worker communications. Email is regularly used as evidence in lawsuits and criminal investigations. Now hacking is another threat. Email isn’t private. Everyone knows that.

Pascal, who climbed the ranks at Sony Pictures Entertainment to become co-chairman, and Rudin, an Oscar-winning movie producer, are not stupid people. Yet they are just the latest example of high-profile executives who send email without a thought about what would happen if the outside world read them.

Remember David Petraeus, the four-star general and CIA director who resigned from his job after an FBI investigation inadvertently turned up emails that exposed an extramarital affair? Ironically, Petraeus didn’t even send the emails. He wrote them and saved them to his drafts folder. He and his girlfriend shared the password and simply logged in to read the drafts.

Then there’s New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who fired his chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly after it was revealed that she sent emails joking about traffic tie-ups caused by lane closings on the George Washington Bridge. The closures, an alleged retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie’s bid for governor, spawned a scandal that continues to affect Christie’s presidential prospects.

And most recently, a Harvard business school professor publicly apologized last week for an epic email rant that went viral, in which he threatened to sic the authorities on a local Chinese food restaurant that allegedly overcharged him $4 for a dinner delivery.

Even though senders should know better, “there’s an illusion of privacy, because the truth is, most of us haven’t been hacked or even know if higher-ups are reading our email,” says Dana Brownlee, president of Professionalism Matters. When it comes to successful people, she says, ego often trumps common sense. “Those with power often reach a point where they let their guard down because they feel somewhat invincible.”

It’s a trap that any of us can easily fall into, particularly in today’s time-crunched workplace, where it’s often easier to shoot off an email or text rather than pick up the phone—or, better still, walk down the hall—to discuss a sensitive issue. “We all have to be really careful about using email almost exclusively to communicate,” Brownlee says. “It’s dangerous.”

Brownlee suggests giving yourself this simple test: How comfortable would you be if your boss, a co-worker or the person you are writing about read it? Not sure? Don’t send it.

“Warning flags truly should go off in your head any time you prepare to hit send on anything you wouldn’t want to read on the front page of the paper,” says Brownlee. “Save the jokes and snarky or personal stuff for one-on-one time. You’ll be glad you did.”

TIME 2016 Election

Here Are the 2016 Candidates Looking Very Presidential

Dress for the job you want

As potential 2016 candidates gear up for White House bids, it’s important for them to look the part. So here it is: a definitive gallery of presidential hopefuls looking their most presidential.

TIME 2016 Election

Here’s How Likely Presidential Candidates Badmouth the Job They Want

Gov. Chris Christie Marks Second Anniversary Of Hurricane Sandy
Kena Betancur—Getty Images New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks on Oct. 29, 2014 in Belmar, N.J.

It’s that time in the election cycle when presidential hopefuls get coy about making a decision.

But that means it’s getting harder for a likely candidate to pretend that they’re not interested in being the leader of the free world. One way to do that? By arguing that being president isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Here’s how some potential 2016 candidates have been knocking the presidency.

Being President is Too Stressful

Ben Carson: “I’m not sure that anybody wants to put themselves in that kind of horrible and stressful situation, that has never been a goal of mine.” (POLITICO)

Hillary Clinton: “I’ve known a lot of presidents over the course of the last many decades … And it is such a hard job … It is such a challenging job … you can easily lose touch with what’s real, what’s authentic, who you were before you were sworn in to office.” (POLITICO)

My Family Won’t Like Living in the White House

Chris Christie: “Patrick goes to a great school that he really likes, and he kind of sat down and figured out that he’d be in the middle of high school if I ran for president and won. He said, ‘Well, I’d be able to keep going to my school, right?’ Like, well, no. I mean, we have to move…to the White House? In Washington. You’d pretty much have to come with us. And that pretty much put him off; he’s off the bandwagon now. [And] Sarah would be in the middle of college. Not so much in favor. You know, the whole idea of Secret Service agents living in your dorm?” (NJ.com)

Jeb Bush: “Can I do it where the sacrifice for my family is tolerable?… It’s a pretty ugly business right now. So I’m not saying, ‘Oh, woe is me.’ Don’t get me wrong. There’s a level under which I would never subjugate my family because that’s my organizing principle, that’s my life. I think people kind of appreciate that. So, I’m sorting that out.” (POLITICO)

Running for the White House Isn’t Fun

Paul Ryan: “I don’t feel the need to be out there, putting my toe in the water. I don’t see the point in it. It’s not fun, and I don’t think I need to.” (Washington Post)

It’ll Ruin My Looks

Scott Walker: “I say this only half-jokingly, that you have to be crazy to want to be president. Anyone who’s seen the pictures of this president or any of the former presidents can see the before and after, no matter how fit, no matter how young they are, they age pretty rapidly when you look at their hair and everything else involved with it.” (The Hill)


Morning Must Reads: December 1

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Janay Rice: Ray Told the Truth

In an exclusive NBC interview, Janay says she believes fans will forget the video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice beating her. An arbitrator overruled Ray’s indefinite suspension on Friday, calling it “arbitrary” and an “abuse of discretion”

Amazon’s Robot Army

A workforce of advanced robots at the core of Amazon’s fulfillment centers is helping the retail giant get your stuff home on time

Hong Kong Protests Turn Violent

The night marked a major reversal in direction for what student leaders have long maintained was a movement principled in nonviolence

Rams Players Use ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Pose

Five St. Louis Rams players took the field for Sunday’s home game against the Oakland Raiders with a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose that has been used by protesters in Ferguson, Mo., and across the country recently

Black Friday Sees Spending Slump

The total amount of spending for the weekend is expected to fall from $57.4 billion to $50.9 billion, an 11% decline from last year. Per-person spending is expected to hit $380.95 for the weekend, a 6.4% drop

U.N. Mission Warns That Ebola Still Poses Global Threat

The head of the U.N. Ebola mission in West Africa says there is a “huge risk” of the Ebola outbreak expanding beyond the hard-hit countries there. “That is why it is so important to get down to zero cases as quickly as possible,” he said

Body of Missing OSU Player Kosta Karageorge Found

The body of an Ohio State University football player who had been missing for five days was found in Columbus on Sunday, according to school officials. Kosta Karageorge, a 22-year-old OSU defensive lineman and wrestler, went missing early Wednesday

Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson Resigned After ‘Credible Threats’

An attorney for Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson cop involved in the August shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, said it took Wilson “two minutes” to resign after being told of threats against the police department and officers

Republican Governors Start Slow on White House Campaigns

While 2016 presidential hopefuls such as Senator Rand Paul and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are moving ahead with White House runs, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and other Republican governors are biding their time

Watch the New Better Call Saul Teaser Trailer

Viewers watching The Walking Dead mid-season finale on Sunday evening were treated to the first teaser trailer for AMC’s new show Better Call Saul. The Breaking Bad spinoff starring Bob Odenkirk will debut over two nights beginning Feb. 8

Safety Conversation Gets Louder With Two Cricket Fatalities

Two days after the demise of Australian cricket star Phillip Hughes, an Israeli umpire was also killed after getting hit by a cricket ball, further throwing the safety of the sport commonly known as the “gentleman’s game” into the international spotlight

Girl Scout Cookie Sales Go Digital

For the first time in nearly 100 years, Girl Scouts of the USA will allow its young go-getters to push their wares using a mobile app or personalized websites. But only if their scout councils and guardians say O.K.

TIME 2016 Election

Republican Governors Start Slow on White House Campaigns

Chris Christie
Julio Cortez—AP New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hands out a pre-Thanksgiving meal at the St. John's Church soup kitchen in Newark, N.J. on Nov. 26, 2014, in Newark, N.J.

Stand in contrast to GOP senators likely to run in 2016

At the Boca Raton Resort & Club last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his entourage could hardly walk 10 yards without getting stopped. Mobbed by lobbyists and operatives in the opulent hallways and by donors in ornate meetings rooms, the outgoing chairman of the Republican Governors Association was crowded by well-wishers expressing hope he’d run for president after raising $106 million and picking up seats in Democratic states this November. Each time his response was some variation on the same: “Thanks, I’ll get back to you.”

For now, that might as well be Christie’s campaign slogan. While 2016 presidential hopefuls such as Sen. Rand Paul and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are moving ahead with White House runs, Christie and other Republican governors are biding their time. None will declare their campaigns before the New Year, and most are looking even later into 2015 to announce.

That doesn’t mean they’re standing still. The six governors looking at White House runs are doing their fair share of thinking and talking about 2016. Christie, Ohio’s John Kasich, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, Indiana’s Mike Pence and Texas’ Rick Perry are all openly flirting with presidential runs.

Behind closed doors at the resort’s yacht club and meeting rooms, the would-be candidates are mingling with donors and lobbyists, as staffs keep careful eye on the potential competition.

To be fair, the difference between running and not running can be hard to parse. Only former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has officially announced an exploratory committee to run and he’s actually doing much less campaigning than candidates who coyly say they haven’t made a decision.

But the contrast between the approach of the governors and the rest of the field is striking. Two of the three senators eyeing the White House, Kentucky’s Rand Paul and Texas’ Ted Cruz, have been frequenting early states for months as they work to hire staff. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has promised a decision in weeks.

The governors, meanwhile, have largely kept to their existing team of advisors, and while they’ve traveled to the early states, have not as aggressively recruited operatives on the ground.

Veteran Republican operatives and the potential candidates themselves described little rush among the six governors to dive in the 2016 race. “If there was 2016 news here, it was how slow they’re moving,” said one operative at the meeting after conversations with multiple governors and staff.

“For senators, it’s easy to run for president,” said one veteran presidential operative currently sitting on the 2016 sidelines. “They just have to decide how to vote in between long recesses. For governors, their jobs likely make them better presidents, but make it harder to run for president because they’re managing massive organizations.”

The reasons for their delaying are myriad: finding space to run in a crowded field, the need to build support among skeptical donors, and doing their day jobs.

Donors at the meeting told governors they were in no rush to open their wallets after more than $1 billion was spent helping the GOP win earlier this month, according to several individuals involved in private meetings at the conference.

“I don’t think any governor is in a hurry to start the 2016 campaign,” said Republican operative Henry Barbour. “And even if you are somebody who was thinking about running in 2016 and were out calling donors right now, all you’re going to get is pushback. Very, very few people are willing to sign up at this point.”

The 2016 GOP nominating contest is poised to be the party’s most divisive in recent memory, with no less than 15 Republicans seriously contemplating bids for the White House. One key reason for the slow start to the governors’ primary is that they’re jockeying among each other to find a rationale to run that’s different than their colleagues’. “To me they’re interchangeable,” one veteran GOP operative said on the condition of anonymity because he is advising multiple candidates. “They fill the same space.

“They need something beyond I’m a governor and I get stuff done, because that’s what they’re all going to say,” the operative said.

Hanging over their heads is Jeb Bush’s decision, believing he will instantly attract many large-dollar donors. But his candidacy appears increasingly less likely.

Five of the six governors must present and pass budgets and handle legislative sessions next year. Multiple governors told TIME they would wait until after their legislative sessions conclude before making any final determinations.

Wisconsin’s Walker has proven to be among the most enthused about running for president after surviving a close re-election battle this fall. He said he too will wait until the late spring to make up his mind, but he is already discussing broadening his staff and expanding his federal operations. “Walker is leaning into this thing far more than people expected,” said one person familiar with his plans.

And Texas’ Perry, who will leave office in January, must first sort out his indictment in a long shot abuse of power case against him.

But just because they are taking their time announcing, that doesn’t mean they aren’t already plotting against the completion.

On a panel of governors contemplating a run for the White House, (except for Christie, who sat out the Chuck Todd-moderated event), Kasich cast himself as the moderate reformer, embracing the Common Core education standards and expressing openness to a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. He and Walker repeatedly quibbled over history, which Kasich lived as a member of Congress, as the Ohio governor corrected the younger Midwesterner sitting to his right on the details of the 1995-96 government budget fight.

At a press conference last Wednesday, Christie was asked about the potential for drama running against five “colleagues.”

“No, no pacts,” Christie said, joking about the potential rival sitting to his left: “I haven’t seen Pence in the corner making any pacts with anybody, but I’ll be watching. … I don’t think any of us has a secret handshake or a blood oath for what we will do and what we won’t do.”

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