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Christie: Early front-runner status ‘meaningless’



TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he doesn’t think much about his status as front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

He describes the designation as “meaningless” in a race that’s three years away.

Christie appeared Monday at his first Statehouse news conference in Trenton since easily winning re-election. He says the early 2016 handicapping has no effect on him and “doesn’t matter” to him.

He says, “It’s December of 2013. It’s completely meaningless.”

The 51-year-old governor says the lead in the presidential sweepstakes can change “any number of times” between now and then.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Friday finds Christie leading with 24 percent, followed by Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul with 13 percent.

Christie was courted to run for president and then vice president last year.