Updated at 8:15 p.m. edt
New Jersey's GOP Gov. Chris Christie reportedly told contributors at a political fundraiser in California today that he is not running for the GOP presidential nomination, according to sources who were in the room when he made the announcement.
Once again Christie found himself having to repeat he is not seeking the highest office in the land. The announcement this time came during a steak dinner for about 40 wealthy donors in Santa Ana, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.
Christie is attending seven fundraisers in three states this week, so the presidential speculation has likely helped fill the events with a donor base he might not otherwise attract.
In addition, sources close to Christie said the governor is sticking by his earlier decision against running, ending some of the rumors that have been flying the past few days, Fox News reported.
Updated at 2 p.m. EDT
The brother of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the latest well-connected source to knock down media-inflated rumors and speculation that his brother is having second thoughts about a run for President.
Republican fundraiser Todd Christie insisted to the Newark Star-Ledger that his brother Chris will not run for President in 2012.
"I’m sure that he’s not going to run," Todd Christie told the newspaper. "If he’s lying to me, I’ll be as stunned as I’ve ever been in my life."
It sounds like the mainstream media is ready for another flavor of the month in the GOP presidential sweepstakes. This time it is New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie who is being offered up again as the supersized savior of the GOP.
Apparently some fat cats who bankroll Republican candidates are not convinced that the frontrunners, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas or ex-Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, can beat President Obama next year.
Christie's buddy, former GOP New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, helped trigger the latest buzz when he claimed over the weekend that Christie is seriously thinking about running for President.
Christie added to the speculation by heading to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., today to deliver a speech titled "Real American Exceptionalism." He also has a fundraiser and a few other high-profile events planned for the week.
It all has many political commentators and reporters frothing today over the thought of a Christie candidacy.
The verdict from MSNBC's "Morning Joe" political roundtable this morning was Christie must run now or forever hold his peace. "His chance is not going to come again." insisted the show's ringmaster, Joe Scarborough.
Christie is a wise center-right Republican who is not afraid to take on his own party, but can you imagine the television spots the Tea Party candidates or their allies would run Christie were to jump into the race?
We would see Christie smiling with President Obama; Christie attacking the right wing over its criticism of Sharia law; Christie saying he is not going to run because he is not ready for prime time; Christie saying family first (that is a good thing, by the way); and Christie criticizing Tea Party mascot and House GOP leader Eric Cantor for playing politics with federal disaster aid.
It would be Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza and the Winter Solstice all wrapped into one for political pundits and reporters, and perhaps that is why so many are frothing at the thought of him jumping in the race for President.
Now, despite the breathless news reports, New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno threw a bucket of ice cold water on the idea, insisting Christie is not running.
"I think the governor is doing a great job here," Guadagno told reporters yesterday. "The governor is not running for President."