LOS ANGELES – Two close confidantes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slapped down the latest round of speculation that the Republican is considering a run for president, with one saying his travels around the country to raise money for the state party and the Republican Governors Association have been "misinterpreted."
"He has no plans to go in," one source said in a conversation Tuesday with The Huffington Post.
A second source close to Christie said the same, though somewhat less emphatically.
"The pressure has been intense," the second Christie confidante said of Republicans' requests for Christie to consider a run. "From my observations I have not seen anything change."
Both sources said that the governor has been traveling around the country in part to raise money for the state party to boost it in advance of this fall's state legislature elections. Christie hopes that Republicans can reduce Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate and possibly even take control of one or both chambers.
Speculation about Christie's intentions have been kept afloat in part by speculation from Republican talking heads and in part by Christie's own travel schedule. He is set to speak at the Reagan Library on Sept. 27, a high-profile appearance. And he met with prominent Iowa Republicans at the governor's mansion at the end of May and then visited the Hawkeye State, which goes first in the Republican primary process in July.
This past Sunday, a former George W. Bush White House official -- speechwriter Michael Gerson -- said that Christie was "actively considering" a run in 2012.
"It shows people are not happy with the current field. They think that it needs to be filled out in important ways," Gerson said on ABC's "This Week."
Gerson specifically mentioned "two meetings with serious Republican groups from the Midwest" that Christie held in Chicago the previous week. But the Christie sources said this was a dinner with some of the RGA's top donors, requested by the RGA, to thank the big dollar contributors.
The Christie sources said the speculation was nothing more than that. One source did say that a Christie run in 2016 is likely at this point.
"All else being equal, I'm sure he's going to take a really good look at it and I assume he'll take a run at it" in 2016, the source said.
The source noted that in getting the New Jersey legislature to pass a pension reform bill this year, Christie did not "conduct a frontal assault on labor" but instead drove a wedge between private sector union members and public sector union members.
In a series of roughly 20 town hall meetings, the Christie source said, "he exposed to private sector union members that public sector unions had a much better deal than they had, and it made them wake up as taxpayers and wonder what's going on here."