N.J. Gov. Disappoints Hedge Fund Crowd, Won't Run For President

Oct 5 2011 | 10:59am ET

In a fatal blow to a months-long effort by hedge fund managers and others underwhelmed by the potential Republican challengers to President Barack Obama next year, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said yesterday that he will not seek the nation's highest office.

"I have a commitment to New Jersey that I simply will not abandon," Christie, who was elected governor of the Garden State less than two years ago, said.

"So, New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me."

And Obama's opponents in the hedge fund industry are stuck with the candidates, among them former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, that led them to forcefully push Christie to run in the first place.

Elliott Associates' Paul Singer, along with billionaire David Koch and Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone, had led the push to get Christie into the race. While Langone has decided to throw in his lot with Romney, neither Singer nor Duquesne Capital Management founder Stanley Druckenmiller, another uncommitted Republican donor, have publicly settled on a second choice.

Nor is it clear where Third Point founder Daniel Loeb stands. Loeb, a prominent and vocal supporter of Obama during the 2008 campaign, has soured on the president, and was the most recent hedge fund manager to begin pushing Christie to run.

"He will be friendly to capitalism, free markets and economic growth," Loeb said of Christie, who, he added, was a "decent, compassionate person."

Christie had, until recently, been unequivocal about not running. But, he said, with so many earnestly pushing him to run, he had to consider it. Having done so, however, he concluded that now was "not my time."

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