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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former prosecutor, brushed off the controversy surrounding Melania Trump's convention speech, saying he wouldn’t be able to make the case for plagiarism, "not when 93 percent of the speech is completely different."
“I know Melania. I think she worked very hard on that speech. A lot of what I heard last night sitting on the floor sounded very much like her and the way she speaks about Donald all the time,” Christie told TODAY in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
Melania Trump, in an interview taped hours before her address, told TODAY she had written the speech herself, “with as little help as possible,” but it immediately came under scrutiny after she delivered it Monday night because of striking similarities between it and the one delivered by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic convention.
Christie blamed the attention on her speech on the public build up everyone gives to the opening of the Republican convention, saying “the worst day of the convention is the first day” and insisted that the story won’t even be mentioned after the second day’s events.
“What’s important is the American people gets a picture about what she feels about her husband and what their relationship is like,” he said.
Christie also dismissed reports he was angry about not being picked as Donald Trump's running mate.
"I never expected to be chosen," he said, although he admitted he did feel let down.
"Of course you’re disappointed. If you compete for something like I did, you’d like to be picked. I wasn’t. So you take a deep breath, and you go to bed and wake up the next morning and get on with your day," Christie said.
"If it wasn’t going to be me, I’m glad it was another governor. I’m glad it was Mike," he said, referring to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who actually endorsed Ted Cruz during the presidential primary race.
Christie also said there wasn't any confusion about who Trump planned to pick the day before he made his official announcement about a running mate.
“I was not under any confusion about exactly what happened between me and Donald. We understood each other perfectly, as we usually do,” he said.
Christie also said his future public plans are uncertain. Because of term limits, he won’t be able to run for a third term as governor. He also pointed out that he has said he would “rather commit suicide” than hold a seat in the U.S. Senate.
“At this point, I don’t have any plans to run for public office again, but you never know where life is going to bring you,” he said.
Asked whether he would accept a cabinet or White House position should Trump win office, Christie said it would depend on the role.
“I have two young children at home and uprooting them to Washington D.C., it would have to be something I felt I really could make a meaningful contribution to the county,” he said. “I’m not just looking for a job. I think I’ll be able to handle that once I leave the governorship one way or another.”