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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told TODAY’s Matt Lauer that Hillary Clinton will not simply be handed the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, and her unsuccessful 2008 campaign shows nothing is a "foregone conclusion."

"Mrs. Clinton's going to have to perform so she's going to have to earn the nomination. Nobody is handed these things," Christie told Lauer in an interview that will air Thursday. "This is the nomination for president of the United States, you have got to earn it. You got to earn it and you got to perform. People are tough on us."

With a strong Democratic challenger to Clinton yet to emerge, she is the overwhelming favorite to capture the party’s presidential nomination. But. Christie warned, she was also a heavy favorite in 2008 before conceding to then Sen. Barack Obama.

"She was a forgone conclusion in 2007, Matt. So was Rudy Giuliani, a forgone conclusion in 2007. You know we've had lots of forgone conclusions in American politics," Christie said.

The tough talking Republican spent part of this week in New Hampshire trying to reignite interest in his potential presidential bid.

He said during a town hall meeting in the Granite State that he would make a final decision about a 2016 run in late spring or early summer.

— Andrew Rafferty