11/05/2014 01:54 pm ET Updated Nov 06, 2014

Chris Christie Tells Matt Lauer He's 'Not Going To Change' In Tense Interview

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If you thought presidential aspirations might temper Chris Christie's zeal to be his unapologetic self, think again.

In a tense interview Wednesday morning with the Today Show's Matt Lauer, New Jersey's Republican governor reaffirmed his commitment to be confrontational -- despite charges it might hinder his likability as a presidential candidate.

"[This is] the first time I've had you here since you had another run-in with a heckler at an appearance a couple weeks ago," Lauer said, two minutes into the interview. "It was the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a guy wouldn't sit down, and you said 'Sit down and shut up.'

"That kind of response is something your staunch supporters love; it makes other people queasy," Lauer continued. "Are you going to have to control that side of your personality to be seen as presidential outside ... New Jersey politics?"

"First of all, you're assuming I wasn't controlled," replied Christie, to which Lauer gave a head nod of apparent acknowledgement, eyebrows raised.

"I sat and took it for awhile," Christie answered. "The hundreds of people that were there deserved to hear what we had to say that day. That person had had their say. I sat and listened to it. It was time for them to sit down."

"I'm not going to change, Matt," Christie concluded. "This is who I am."

Lauer then tried another approach, asking if Christie, rather than "controlling" that side of himself, might just "hide" it instead.

"There's no hope in that," Christie deadpanned, shaking his head to laughter off camera.

At the close of the interview, asked if he "feels ready in his heart" to be president, Christie said he'll have to figure that out "in the next number of months ... and make a decision."



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