Hardball | December 13, 2012
>>> a gritty state of new jersey 's home to the boss, bruce springsteen and theward walk of the empire fame, it's also the home of an increasingly popular brass politician by the name of chris christie . he may have sat out the presidential race in 2012 but he later earned high marks for his handling of hurricane sandy. how he's leaving the door very open for a bid for president in 2016 . here he was on abc with barbara walters just last night.
>> when you were pressed to run for president this time, you said you didn't think you were ready. what did you mean by that?
>> i wasn't ready to undertake a campaign. that's an enormous decision to make for yourselves around your family and i didn't feel ready.
>> how do you think you're going to feel in 2016 ?
>> well, you know what? i have no idea.
>> in your fantasies when you're just talking to yourself, do you say president chris christie ?
>> no, no, i don't.
>> nobody doesn't like barbara walters . president chris christie , it could happen but he my need to get past to hillary clinton on the way to the actual oval office . john feehery is a republican strategist and bob shrum is a columnist for the dale bibeast. gentlemen, sometimes i feel the cosmos shifts and all of a sudden things are all of a sudden different. over and over and over again starting with the sopranos, this incredible focus on jersey. boardwalk empire, the wives of new jersey, the boss, springsteen on both major tablets, front page at the fund-raiser. everything, the four seasons, the jersey boys . everything is about jersey. it's always been jor looked. it's a commuter city. all of a sudden it's in the foreground and sandy is the biggest tragedy in the kurnt for a lot of people and who is leading it this big guy with a real jersey attitude. every time we talk to him now we're talking president.
>> there's a reason all those wall street financers were begging chris christie to run last time, because they thought he could win and i think if he had run this time, he had -- he could have got all those blue collar guys in michigan, all the blue collar guys in ohio, all the blue collar guys in wisconsin. he's a blue collar guy and he would have won the south anyway. he would have been a great candidate. the question is is --
>> when did you start saying this?
>> i said it on your show. the question is in four years can he maintain that.
>> let's not talk about four years. let's talk about right now. don't do that. don't do what you just said. this is what it looks like right now.
>> right now he would be a great candidate.
>> shrummy, let's talk about culture. you're a student of popular culture . something says to me it's jersey's turn. it just is. if you don't buy it, say you don't buy that.
>> i don't buy that. i think this i go is really interesting. he's a big winner in 2012 --
>> would you ever back a republican under any circumstance under any democrat ever?
>> it depends who the democrat was --
>> have you ever done it?
>> as a general proposition no.
>> have you ever done it?
>> then make that clear.
>> chris, i vote -- you'll get mad at me i voted for gerald ford in 1976 .
>> you're a puma. you're a puma wannabe. he maude your bones. keep going. let's talk chris christie .
>> clibstye has a big personality. he's going to be a huge factor on the national stage but he's also got big problems in the republican primaries . this is a guy who favors not marriage equality but civil unions . that's a problem in iowa, south carolina , all those states where an increasingly shrunken base is not going to like that and may just look at him and say he's too far out.
>> but he's pro-choice -- no, he's pro-life is what he is.
>> he's pro-life now. he's like romney now. he's flip-flopped on the issue. i think there will be some suspicion of that in the republican party . and sandy, which helped him in new jersey, makes him virtually a lock for re-election, has left a lot of bad taste in a lot of republican mouths and that's why he's only running at 14% in that --
>> because? what's the bad taste about? lay it out.
>> embracing the president. i mean, you know, there are all these explanations, sandy came along, that's why obama won. christie was too nice to him, that's why obama won. none of it is true but there's a lot of anger in the republican party , a lot of disbelief about the outcome of this. i think he would be a formidable republican candidate.
>> he had picked him for his running mate, he would have neutralized him. he wouldn't have been in the embrace of and working with the president so as low asly as the running 345i9 for romney . he wouldn't have been that guy who turned out to be politically worthless, ryan. wouldn't that have been a smarter move?
>> it would have beenen infinite lay smarter move. i think he would have embraced the president and it would have helped romney and christie not barack obama . so, yeah, i think it was a dumb move. i mean, he would have been a better choice, almost anybody would have been a better choice than paul ryan .
>> let me go back to you. do you agree with that? would --
>> the thing about chris christie is he's real. people want authenticity, people who have real prag ma tism and can run thing. they need leadership. what christie gives you is his pragmatic leadership. that's why he gave the president a wet kiss. he said i need help, give me the help and people respond to that 37 i think there are partisans who --
>> let's look at the match-up potentially of the woman everyone is watching for a hillary clinton . also spoke to barbara walters and she too didn't completely rule herself out for running for president. let's watch the secretary of state.
>> i've said i really don't believe that that's something i will do again.
>> you know your husband wants you to run in 2016 . what do you say to him?
>> he wants me to do what i want to do. he has made that very clear, and some of what i want to do is just kick back. i mean --
>> yeah, but after you have slept --
>> but i haven't had a chance to do that yet.
>> let's give you three months.
>> oh, no.
>> what would it take to condition vince you to run in 2016 ?
>> that's all hypothetical because right now i have no intention of running.
>> one thing, bob, no candidate, male or female, democrat or republican, ever admits to is ambition. it's not in their memoirs when they're 9 years old. they never admit it when they're 25 years old. it's the one thing you never admit but everybody knows you have. only doing it for children, for old people, only doing it for somebody else or world peace . they never say i want to be president. now, when you watch hillary clinton i do believe she hasn't made up her mind but do you take that as an acting role when she says i haven't thought about it or do you take it for real?
>> i think she thinks about it. when people say they don't intend to run, that's usually a signal that they're going to run. look --
>> they're going to intend to run.
>> she could surprise us and decide not to run. i don't think that's going to happen. i think there's a very good chance she will run. very formidable candidate this time. women will overwhelmingly support her number one. number two, she'd have tremendous financial advantage and number three, she's a lot better off running not for a clinton restoration but much more in her own right having been secretary of state, as a successor to obama , and out there articulating the kind of populist themes that worked so well for her at the end of the primaries in 2008 and which have now become central for the president.
>> i agree. by the way, every time i have a poll at a dinner party or lunch i ask do you think she's going to run? everybody thinks it's unanimous until you ask them. it's usually a slight majority think she's going to run. never a big majority. people really have second thoughts because they know it's a 12-year run. four years running, eight years serving. it's a really brutal road she's setting for herself. i think she'll run but i don't think it's an easy decision.
>> and i think she's exhausted. being in that public -- i think that's right. she's going to be a tough candidate.
>> nobody can beater i don't think.
>> it depends --
>> we'll have you back for christie -- thank you. you'll be press secretary. that would be a great job. you could speak for him. none of your business. the governor says none of your business. the governor says none of your business. every day you say it all day long. thank you, bob, thank you, john, who will be known as the guy who before the governor says none of your business.
>>> up next, the fiscal cliff. president obama met again today with house speaker john boehner but can boehner deliver his caucus? that's the toughest job for him and for the country. can he deliver enough republicans to be a respectable republican leader in this is "hardball," the place for politics.