Gov. Chris Christie said his infamous "temper" does not preclude him from being president and is a trait that voters want from their president.

Gov. Christie and wife Mary Pat walk with Matt Lauer before his announcement entering the 2016 presidential race (@ChrisChristie via Instagram)

In an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, Christie called it a "controlled anger" that will show the passion he has to take on issues like taxpayers being ripped off and "urban kids" not being able to get a good education. "I think America wants someone who's willing to fight for that," said the 14th Republican to enter the 2016 presidential race, adding that he has lost his temper "very few times" as governor.

Speaking to Lauer behind the bleachers at Livingston High School before he made his official announcement on Tuesday, Christie said his final decision to make the run was two fold. "In my heart, I really felt ready. I felt I had something to contribute to make the country a better place and to change the world." And pointing to his smiling family, he said, "These guys are ready...if I didn't have both of those, I couldn't go out and do this. But I do."

Lauer asked if Christie may have missed an opportunity to run when his name was suggested going into the 2012 presidential election. The 52-year-old admitted he wasn't ready. "You don't run just because you think you can win, you have to think you can win and that you're ready to do the job."

Christie said that having to deal with a Democratic Legislature gives him an advantage over rivals like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Rick Perry. "This is hand-to-hand combat everyday," said Christie, that unlike in a "red state," you have to learn to work out compromises.

Taking note of the protesters outside of Livingston High School during Christie's event, he explained he doesn't shy away from making "hard decisions" which will make some people angry.

 

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