NEPTUNE - What may be more interesting than the conversation President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had during the president's visit this weekend to tour flood-ravaged neighborhoods was what they did not talk about: whether Christie will jump into the 2012 race for the White House.
Christie said Tuesday that after a former aide to President George W. Bush went on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday and said that Christie was "actively" reconsidering a run for president, he saw the news on his iPhone, and was sure the president saw it, too, on his phone.
"I noticed it and chuckled to myself," Christie said, but added that he did not bring it up with Obama, who he was sure also saw the news. "I wasn't going to pull out the iPhone and say, ‘Hey, Mr. President, look at this, they say I'm actively reconsidering running against you.' Especially when you're looking for FEMA money, I don't think that's what you want to be doing."
That moment was made more awkward, Christie said, when there was some confusion about whether he would ride back on Marine One to the airport with the president.
Christie said Obama began to say farewell, which confused Christie, who was told he would ride with Obama.
"When the president is showing you the door, you don't say, ‘Oh, no, no. I'm supposed to be riding with you," Christie said.
After a White House staffer told Christie that he was in fact riding back with Obama, he said he and the president had a good laugh about it.
"When we got off and were both walking toward Air Force One, he said, ‘You're not coming on there with me too, are you,'" Christie recalled. "And I said, ‘Only if you ask.'"
Obama replied: "No, you can finish here."
Christie said that besides the flooding, the two talked mostly about the trials and tribulations of their jobs and of raising teenage daughters.
"We spent most of our time talking about issues that fathers of teenage girls talk about," Christie said. "Comparing notes on that and comparing notes on the pressures of our jobs and the effects it has on our families."
Christie's daughters are 15 and 8. Obama's are 13 and 10.