(Adds comment from Langone assistant in sixth paragraph.)
July 19 (Bloomberg) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he still doesn’t plan to run for president in 2012 after Kenneth Langone, co-founder of Home Depot Inc., urged him to enter the race.
“I’ve known Ken a long time” and consider him a friend, Christie told reporters today in Trenton. He said the meeting with Langone, a Republican, was “no different from a lot of meetings” he’s had with people asking him to run against President Barack Obama, a Democrat. He declined to say who else, if anyone, was at the meeting.
“There are some people who believe that I should leave this job and go for another one,” said Christie, a first-term Republican. “I’m always willing to sit and listen to folks who want to make that argument to me, but I said nothing different to him today than I’ve said to other folks in the past.”
Christie, 48, has become a rising national star in the Republican Party after he cut $10 billion in spending on schools, pensions and local aid in his first budget. He has said repeatedly that he has no plans to run for president next year.
News of the meeting between Christie and Langone was reported earlier by Politico. The website said the meeting was in Manhattan.
Langone, now chairman of investment bank Invemed Associates LLC, wasn’t reachable for comment, his assistant, Pam Goldman, said earlier today. “It’s a private meeting that Ken’s holding,” she said.
--Editors: Stacie Servetah, Mark Schoifet
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