Chris Christie gave a high-profile speech at the Ronald Reagan library last night and left Republicans who want him to run for president with at least a glimmer of hope, according to Politico and the Star-Ledger. The New Jersey governor, asked if he'd enter the race, pointed to a Politico collection of earlier denials, but then didn't offer a fresh one. After an audience member pleaded with him to run, Christie said he was flattered. "It’s a great, great honor, and I really appreciate it," he said.
"He never said, 'Yes I'm running,' and he never said, 'No I'm not,'" writes the Star-Ledger, which characterized his responses as "artful." The New York Times has a similar take, with its headline saying he "fails to quell the talk." And blogger Allahpundit at Hot Air interprets it as mostly a reaffirmation of "no" with appropriate wiggle room. Earlier, Fox News quoted sources as saying he's definitely out. As for the speech, Christie slammed President Obama as a "bystander in the Oval Office," whose recent actions he characterized as part of a re-election strategy rather than an exercise in leadership.