Geraldo Rivera, the host of a Fox News show, said on Monday that in the unlikely event that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called him about representing the state in the U.S. Senate, he “would definitely take the call.”
Sen. Frank Lautenberg died Monday due to complications from viral pneumonia at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell. He was 89 years old.
Lautenberg, a Democrat, said in February that he would not seek a sixth term. He was up for re-election in 2014.
Christie, a Republican, now must appoint a replacement for Lautenberg.
Earlier this year, Rivera said that was "seriously contemplating running" for the U.S. Senate in his home state of New Jersey. At the time, Lautenberg had not yet announced plans to retire from the Senate.
Rivera, who made his comments on the “Geraldo Rivera Radio Show,” said he would run as a Republican.
“I’m the last person I believe Gov. Christie will consider right now,” Rivera said.
Though it noted it was not something he’s obsessing over.
“I think it’s a very, very long shot that Gov. Christie would even think of me, appointing me,” he said. “I haven’t been vetted. I’ve only kind of toyed with the idea of running.”
He said it “effectively” ends speculation that he would run for Senate.
“I can’t imagine he will pick me,” he said. “He’ll pick somebody important.”
Even before the senator made known his intention not to run again, several people, including Newark Mayor Corey Booker, a Democrat, and Republicans such as state Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick of Westfield, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno had said they were considering running for the seat.
“There will be Republicans and Democrats like planes waiting to land at LaGuardia looking to Gov. Chris Christie for the appointment,” Rivera noted.
The radio show host did add that if he were to run, he would do so as a moderate Republican.
“I think listeners of this program are becoming aware of the fact that you can be Republican and not be a tea party conservative,” he said. “You know the fact that Republicans have to moderate, and have to modify their stances on a lot of issues, like immigration, like gay marriage, like the right to choose.”