Today CNBC’s John Harwood sat down with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference.
Here are his five takeaways from the interview:
1) Gov. Christie said, hours before heading to Iowa, that he doesn't need to decide on the presidential race until early next year. He's well enough known that he doesn't need to move quickly, and he hit at those who are too eager by saying beware of pols with more ambition than wisdom.
2) Christie tread gingerly on the intra-party divide between business and Tea Party Republicans, calling that a problem to be handled "carefully." He ducked a stance on the Ex-Im bank while saying government has to help businesses compete abroad. He called attacks from the right over his free market credentials "complete crap." And in front of a Wall Street audience, he declined to "Monday morning quarterback" the Obama administration's failure to send misbehaving executives to jail.
3) Christie took some responsibility for New Jersey’s subpar economy but he mostly blamed the democratic New Jersey legislature. He defended his decision not to make pensions payments by blaming past governors and saying he has to strike a balance between needed revenue and economic growth.
4) Christie said Bridgegate was caused when "someone went rogue" and ridiculed the idea that his tough-guy style created atmosphere for that to happen. He believes that if people thought his style was "I'll punch you" if you disagree, the New Jersey legislature never would have worked with him.
5) Christie took mild shots at President Obama, saying "I think he's started to understand now, it's more complicated than he thought when he first ran." As for Hillary Clinton: "I'm not going to talk about the Secretary or characterize her in any way."
Read more from the interview here.