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Christie Meets with GOP Senators, Talks Shutdown

Julio Cortez-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sat down with Republican senators in the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, but the issues currently consuming Capitol Hill – the government shutdown and debt limit - weren’t on the agenda.  Instead, New Jersey politics was the conversation du jour.

But as he left the Capitol Wednesday, Christie was asked by reporters whether the economy would be hurt by a government shutdown or the surpassing of the debt limit.

“I don’t think it’s ever good to keep the government closed when your job is to run the government,” Christie responded.

Christie was in town to meet with Sen. Jeff Chiesa, R-N.J., whom he appointed to the New Jersey Senate seat after the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. Christie then decided to stop by for a “courtesy visit” with a group of GOP senators, which included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

“I’m trying to be reelected as governor and my job is to work on the problems of New Jersey. That’s what I’m doing,” Christie told reporters.  “I’m just down here today to have a visit with [Senator Chiesa], and he’s introduced me to some of the new friends he’s made over the last four and a half months, and that’s all today is about.”

After the meeting, Thune told reporters the budget impasse didn’t come up in the conversation with Christie.  Asked if the fight over the debt ceiling and shutdown gives Christie room to run as a pragmatist in 2016 compared to some potential presidential contenders in the Senate, Thune said, “I think he’s got a great record in New Jersey.  If he runs, he’d be a very formidable candidate.”

As he climbed into his SUV, Christie thanked reporters for following him around the Capitol.

“All this attention is really just so flattering. I appreciate it,” he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio