New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced on Tuesday that he will not run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 at a press conference in his home state.
"Now is not my time," said Christie in explaining his decision. He quipped, "New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me."
The New Jersey Republican added, "The deciding factor was that it did not feel right in my gut to leave now when the job is not finished."
While Christie has vehemently denied he could launch a campaign for the White House over the last year, speculation swirling over the prospect the big name Republican could jump into the race reached a fever pitch last week. HuffPost's Jon Ward reported that a speech delivered by Christie at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library almost seemed like an audition for a potential run.
On Tuesday, Christie said he felt an "obligation" to consider advice coming from members of the Republican party urging him to get into the race. "Over the last few weeks, I've thought long and hard about this decision," he said.
Christie signaled that he's not prepared to make an endorsement in the GOP primary race at this time. He said, however, that he'll ultimately stand behind the contender that gives his party the strongest chance at defeating President Barack Obama in 2012.
The Republican governor also addressed the prospect he could be tapped as a running mate by one of the candidates vying for his party's presidential nomination.
"I don't think there's anybody in America who would think my personality is best suited to be number two," he said.
Below, a video mash-up capturing the build-up of speculation on Christie's political ambitions.