Chris Christie Campaigns in Iowa for Gov. Terry Branstad

Gov. Christie poses for a photo with Mayor Snooks Bouska (left) at a diner in Marion, Iowa. (CHARLIE NEIBERGALL / Associated Press)
Gov. Christie poses for a photo with Mayor Snooks Bouska (left) at a diner in Marion, Iowa. (CHARLIE NEIBERGALL / Associated Press)

As he crisscrossed Iowa on Thursday raising money for Republican candidates, Gov. Christie said his visit to the state that hosts the first presidential caucus didn’t signal his intention to seek the White House in 2016.

Still, insinuations of a possible campaign were hard to ignore.

“It makes me feel really good to be able to get on the airplane and go home tonight knowing that I made a lot of new friends” – while helping Gov. Terry Branstad win reelection, Christie said, as he wrapped up remarks at a rally at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds here.

Of whether Iowans love him – a question a reporter had asked him hours earlier, when he was surrounded by television cameras outside a diner near Cedar Rapids – Christie told the crowd in Davenport: “I say heck, I don’t know, we just met. But the early indications are good.”

The New Jersey governor, who serves as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, spent a full day in Iowa, beginning with an RGA fund-raiser in the morning and ending by headlining the evening rally for Branstad.

In the middle of the day, Christie attended a fund-raiser for Kraig Paulsen, the speaker of Iowa’s House. And he made time to swing through Marion, a town just outside Cedar Rapids, where he entered MJ’s Restaurant to applause and friendly faces – at least some of them invited by Branstad’s campaign.

“I just love him,” said Jan Airy, 67, who said she told Christie he would do an “awesome job” as president.

Christie, taking questions from reporters outside the restaurant, said that it was “wonderful to get as much encouragement as I got inside here and in other places in Iowa today,” but that his decision on running for president would be a “deeply personal” one.

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SOURCE: Maddie Hanna
The Philadelphia Inquirer