WASHINGTON — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a rising star in the Republican party, ruled out a presidential run in 2012, telling an interviewer that President Barack Obama "can rest easy."

The governor was pressed on his intentions in an interview on Fox News Sunday, which highlighted poll numbers showing him to be the only potential Republican candidate who would beat Obama in a head-to-head race.

"Listen, the president can rest easy," Christie said. "The only guy who could beat him in the poll isn't running. I have a state to run. I love New Jersey."

Christie, who is only 48, did not rule out a run for the presidency in 2016 or further in the future, and said that each year he serves as governor would better prepare him for the White House.

"I am not arrogant enough to believe that after one year as governor of New Jersey and seven years as United States attorney I'm ready to be president of the United States. I'm not going to run," he said.

Christie has gained a following among Republicans by slashing spending in his home state to bring deficits under control. As a federal prosecutor, he built a reputation by winning convictions against public officials for corruption.

A new poll by Zogby International found that Christie, alone among potential Republican candidates, would beat Obama 43 to 40 percent if the presidential elections were held today.