For months, I’ve been adamant about the fact that I would not run for President. My language was clear, and direct, no matter how many times I was asked the question. For me, the answer was never anything but no. My job here in New Jersey is my passion. I’ve always meant it when I’ve said I felt like the luckiest guy in the world to have this job. I’m doing a job that I love in the state I grew up in on behalf of some of the toughest and greatest people in this country.
It wasn’t until recently that I paused to really reflect on my decision. When you have serious people from across the spectrum, not to mention from all across the country, passionately calling on you to do something as consequential as running for President of the United States, I felt an obligation to earnestly consider their advice. Together with Mary Pat and our children I believe I had an obligation to seriously consider what people were asking me to do. I will always be grateful for their confidence in me.
Over the last few weeks I’ve thought long and hard about this decision. I’ve explored the options. I’ve listened to so many people and considered whether this was something that I needed to take on. But in the end what I’ve always felt was the right decision remains the right decision today. Now is not my time. I have a commitment to New Jersey that I simply will not abandon. That’s the promise I made to the people of this state when I took office twenty months ago, to fix a broken New Jersey, and when I look at what we’ve accomplished so far, I’m proud, but I know we’re not nearly done.
I’ve made this commitment to my state first and foremost. The people sent me to Trenton to get a job done, and I’m just not prepared to walk away. I know not everyone agrees with my decision, but my loyalty to this state is what it is.
Abraham Lincoln said, “I’d like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives; I’d like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”
That’s how I feel in my heart about New Jersey. I’m proud of this state and its people, and I know there’s still much more we need to do together to insure the future we want for all of our children. So this is not the time to leave unfinished business for me. The stakes are too high and the consequences are too real. So New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me.
Let me say this. I’m grateful, I’m grateful to the many people both in New Jersey and around the country who have spoken to me over these last weeks and months. I’m grateful for their confidence in me. I’m grateful for the faith that they place in me. It’s been unbelievably humbling and inspiring. I can only hope that I’m able to live up to this confidence and to make it count doing the job I need to do here at home.