Presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie says that flare-ups of his temper on the campaign trail are rare and show a “controlled anger” that demonstrates his passion about important issues that affect voters.
“It is an absolute controlled anger. A controlled anger,” he told NBC’s Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview on the day of his presidential announcement. “I'm angry about the fact that taxpayers were being ripped off in New Jersey. I'm angry about the fact that our urban kids can't get a good education. I'm angry about those things, you're darn right I am. And I think America wants someone who's willing to fight for that.”
The New Jersey Republican, who has faced questions about his temperament in the run-up to his 2016 run, added that his anger remains controlled “almost all the time” and that he’s lost his temper “very few times” during his governorship.
In the interview, Christie said that he does not regret declining to run for president in 2012, when many Republicans were urging him to seek the White House.
“In 2011 and '12, I was not ready to be president,” he said. “And you don't run just because you think you can win, you have to think you can win and that you're ready to do the job.”
He also said that he is not worried that he’ll be drowned out in the crowded GOP field for the 2016 nomination.
"I think the biggest problem with so many people is getting attention, and I've never had any problem getting attention," he said. "So I think I'll do okay."
Christie announced his presidential campaign on Tuesday in his hometown of Livingston, New Jersey.
More of Lauer's two-part interview with Christie will air Wednesday, July 1, on TODAY.