By Bob Jordan
Asbury Park Press
September 23, 2011

NJTV on Friday is wrapping up its week-long Governors of New Jersey interview series on the NJ Today news program, with some of the former state chief executives telling anchor Mike Schneider what they think of Gov. Chris Christie’s performance and whether he‘s capable of running for president.

From Jim Florio: “Gov. Christie and all the rest of the governors around the country are going to realize that the problem that they’re facing, this hundred-billion dollar shortfall, just can’t be (solved) on the existing tax-bases that we have in the states.”

From Richard Codey (on Christie): “I don’t like the way he comes across as a bully at times. I agree with a lot of his policies, but I have this feeling that when you’re governor, you lead by example. And sometimes in the way he talks in a demeaning way to the public, I think is wrong.”
From Tom Kean: “He offends some people which I don’t think need to be offended sometimes…he seems to make enemies and keeps them…But that’s him, that’s his style, that’s his personality and that’s who he is.”

From Brendan Byrne: “Christie now is being viewed as somebody who’s been able to change things, and I think people admire him for it. And I’m willing to go along with the irritation that he may cause by pushing.”

Kean said he doubts a sitting New Jersey governor could run for president.

“New Jersey is the most powerful governorship in the country…I don’t think (Christie) can spend all his time in Iowa… New Hampshire…South Carolina. I don’t think you can do that and be a good governor. I really don’t,” he said.

However, Christine Todd Whitman called a presidential bid by a New Jersey governor “tough, very tough, but you could do it,‘’ and Byrne said “it’s do-able.‘’

“I think Christie is making his own judgments as to what he can do and what he can’t do,” Byrne said.

The programs with the series will be available on the NJTV web site.

Have a great trip!