Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People: Chris Christie

ABC's Barbara Walters interviews New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
7:27 | 12/12/12

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Transcript for Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People: Chris Christie
We're back. When hurricane sandy ruined so many lives this past october, we got a glimpse of our elected officials in action. In the eye of the stormwas new jersey governor... Who became the faceof the recovery effort in his impacted state. He is a bear of a man-- sometimes teddy bear,sometimes grizzly bear. When the hurricane hit, governor chris christie went into action. He was frank... We have to be prepared for the worst here. He was forceful... This is not a time to be stupid. He was feeling... I just never thought I would see, uh, what I saw today, ever. The storm made the 50-year-old conservative governor a bigger presence than ever... I mean, it's just unbelievable. A feat in a year which had seen him talked about first as a presidential candidate... Thank you! The great governor of new jersey, chris christie. And then as mitt romney's running mate. (crying) PLEASE HELP US, GOVERNOR. We're trying. The image of him in his jersey guy's fleece jacket... Doing all right? Passionate and compassionate became iconic... We got halloween on monday. These are all former governors... Huh. That are on all three floors of the rotunda. So when I met him in his office at the state capitol, there was one thing that caught me off-guard. ...And grew up in new jersey? Governor, you are not wearing your fleece, and I'm very disappointed. Only--only used in case of emergency, barbara. (chuckles) I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state. You know, governor, that you had been criticized for praising president obama during hurricane sandy. People have said you helped him win. Is this unfair criticism? Well, I was doing my job. I'm the governor of the state of new jersey, and he offered to help. And so you better go take him up on his offer to help. Yeah, but I'm gonna be the critic. You didn't have to put your arm around him. You didn't have to fly on the plane with him. You could have said, you know, "thank you, mr. President" and been a little cooler. So I could have lied. That's what you're suggesting. (laughs) NO. I MEAN, YOU'RE SUGGESTING THAT What I should have done was lie, because everything I said--everything I said was-- I'm suggesting-- I'm being the critic. Was the truth. Sure. You were too effusive. You helped him win. No. I didn't help him win. Uh, the fact of the matter is the president won the election pretty comfortably. Any regrets? No. Let's go back a bit. Tell me about your childhood. A sicilian mother and irish father, which meant that, you know, as the oldest child in that family, I got good at dispute resolution really early on. Born and bred in new jersey, his accountant father was a republican, and his mother, a democrat. In high school, he was athletic and popular. He was especially close to his mother. When she was dying in 2004, he flew to be at her side. She was sleeping when I got there that morning. When she woke up, she realized it was a friday, and she said, "go to work." And I said, "well, I'm spending the day with you," and she reached over and grabbed my hand, and she said, "go to work, chris. It's where you belong." There's nothing left unsaid between us. Do you think of her a lot? Every day. How come? She's an inspiration to me. Uh, I am who I am because of her. What would your mother say to your critics? "Shut up." (both laugh) Well, damn, man, I'm governor. Could you just shut up for a second? That's not all he says to his critics. Are you--are you stupid? First off,it's none of your business. You people are the worst. You conduct yourself like that in a courtroom, your rear ens gonna get thrown in jail, idiot. Okay. Your fans call you frank, candid, open. Your critics call you a hothead. Do you need anger management? No. You know, anger is not a vice. There are times when it's appropriate for folks to react angrily, and it expresses a particular emotion and point of view that I think is very powerful. For the most part, they've enjoyed it. I decided to get a second opinion from the woman who knows him best-- Mother ba mary pat christie. Do they say, "and, mrs. Christie, do you ever see any of that famous temper at home?" UH... (laughs) WELL, I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S A famous temper. (laughs) Chris is--he's--he's actually a great communicator, and sometimes he has to raise his voice to do it, but... There's been a few times when I've said... Mm. Cringed a little bit, but he always seems to have a purpose in doing it. New jersey governor chris christie. (cheers and applause) In fact, the governoris so comfortable with his reputation, he parodied himself recentlyon "saturday night live." I'm gonna die in this fleece. But, uh, but--but that's okay. It's a good fleece. It is a good fleece. Stop saying things I've already said. All right. Okay. Something else that sets him apart from other politicians is a subject that's a little delicate. Okay, governor, I feel very uncomfortable asking this question when I'm sitting opposite you. But youare a little overweight. More than a little. Yeah. Yeah. Why? If I could figure that out, I'd fix it. Do you try to diet? Oh, barbara, I've had-- I've had more diets and lost and gained back more weight in my lifetime than I care to count. There are people who say that you couldn't be president because you're so heavy. What do you say to them? Well, that's ridiculous. I mean, that's ridiculous. I think people have watched me for the last number of weeks in hurricane sandy doing 18-hour days. So I don't really think that would be a problem. When you were pressed to run for president this time, you said you didn't think you were ready. What did you mean by that? I felt like I wasn't ready to undertake a campaign. Um, that's an enormous decision to make for yourselves and your family, and I just didn't feel ready. How do you think you're going to feel in 2016? Well, you know what? I have no idea. In your fantasies, when you're just talking to yourself, do you say, "president chris christie"? No. No, I don't. For now, he's focused on his run for re-election as governor and on new jersey's recovery. Amidst all the damage, one relationship was repaired with his hero, bruce springsteen. The governor is an avid fan of springsteen, as the walls of his office show. You love bruce springsteen. I do. I do. He even knows the wordsto every song. You start? Yeah. One, two... Three, four. (both) ♪ OH, OH,COME TAKE MY HAND ♪ ♪ We're riding out tonightto case the promised land ♪ ♪ whoa, oh, oh, thunder road ♪ ♪ oh, thunder road,oh, thunder road ♪ but springsteen, a liberal democrat, has never been a fan of his until now. After the stor he appeared with you in the telethon, yes? And then he put his arm around you and he hugged you, and he said what? "It's official. We're friends." Okay, let me give you a choice. Okay. You can either be a member of the e street band or president of the united states. (laughs) You know, um, I think at the moment, at the moment, I'd probably rather be in the e street band.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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