New Jersey governor and ex officio University trustee Chris Christie has announced that he plans to finish his term, which ends in 2018, according to the New York Times. He criticized the media for continuing to speculate whether he will leave the state to serve in President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration. Despite his plan to finish his term, Christie has not ruled out continuing to serve in the Trump administration.
"For some reason, people think I'm equivocal about this," Christie said during a news event. "And I'm not. I'm completing my term."
"Now, I will tell you that if something extraordinary happens in the world where my service is needed, I will consider any requests that are made," Christie added. "That's not being equivocal about it. That's understanding what the real world is. But I want you to all take a deep breath and relax."
On Nov. 11, according to the Times, the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump announced that Christie will become vice chairman of the transition team, a 16-member advisory committee, aimed to help guide Trump’s choices as he moves to assemble a government.
Christie had originally been in charge of the transition for several months after dropping out of the Republican primaries and actively supporting Trump. After his two former aides were convicted in a scandal involving the closing of access lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013, however, his standing in the transition team fell as Vice President-elect Mike Pence took over the transition effort. Trump also picked others for Attorney General and White House Chief of Staff, positions for which Christie was reportedly a contender.
When Christie’s office announced he was holding a rare news conference Tuesday at the statehouse, many reporters, photographers, and cameramen showed up to see the governor speak, according to NJ.com. While the event was listed as being open to the press, Christie’s office changed the schedule to note that the event would be a press announcement in which Christie wouldn’t take questions.
During this announcement, Christie ended up announcing a four-year $300 million renovation of New Jersey's deteriorating 18th-century statehouse.
"From some of the reaction I got that I was having a press announcement, I think many of you thought I was announcing something else," Christie said toward the end of the event. "I appreciate all of you being here for the Statehouse renovation. It's really wonderful."
"For those of you who would be distraught over the idea that I would leave before January 18 of 2018, no reason for you to be distraught," he said. "For those who are looking forward to me leaving before January 18 of 2018, sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not going to. For whatever camp you fall into, I'm not going anywhere."
Christie also urged the press to "use a little common sense."
"If I was really leaving to take a job in the Trump administration, would I be doing it in the rotunda of the Statehouse, by myself, without the person who would be actually giving me the job?" he asked. "Knowing him, he'd want to be there."