Christie denounces Post story, but admits Romney needs to show a more human side
By Max Pizarro | August 27th, 2012 - 5:23pm
| More

TAMPA – The door flung open to the briefing room on the 7th floor of the Westin and in walked Gov. Chris Christie one night before his scheduled keynote to the Republican National Convention.

“I’m not going to talk about the speech before tomorrow night there,” he told New Jersey reporters above a roiling bay where sunshine alternated with storm clouds in the whiplash of Hurricane Isaac. “There will be some stuff in this you’re familiar with. Nothing I’m saying in there will come as a great shock to you.”

The speech will run about 20 minutes.

It took him 14 drafts to stick the landing, he said.

Fewer than ten people have seen it at this point, and yes, he did implement advice of 1988 GOP keynoter former Gov Tom Kean, Christie's political idol.

Romneyites didn’t ask him to change anything, he said. He handed in an early draft and they gave him the thumbs up, so he kept at it.

“I will be myself tomorrow night but I’m not going in there with any agenda,” said Christie. “My (intention) is to try to lay out for folks a vision for our party for the next four years.”

Christie heads into his speech encumbered by a story in The New York Post written by former New Jersey reporters Josh Margolin and Beth DeFalco.

The story says Christie didn’t want to be Mitt Romney’s VP choice because he doesn’t want to attach himself to a losing enterprise.

“It’s just completely false,” said the governor. “They both have my phone number and neither one ever called me. I was never offered the vice presidency so a factor in me not taking it was never thinking he could not win. Both (Margolin and DeFalco) have long-term relationships with me. If they picked up the phone” (he would have tried to persuade them not to write the story).

But most polls show Christie’s candidate, Romney, has a likeability problem. The candidate has waded through repeated critiques of his stiffness.

“Two reasons for it,” Christie acknowledged. “One is this is generally a reserved guy not used to wearing his heart on his sleeve. That makes it harder for people from a distance to feel closer to him The other is the president spent a hundred million dollars against him.”

The governor suggested Romney make himself more vulnerable to the people.

“Let the American people get to see his heart,” said Christie.

He laid out how the GOP wins this presidential election: a combination of the condition of the country, the performance of incumbent President Barack Obama, Romney’s businessman resume, and the candidate effectively communicating his humanness.

“If that happens, he wins,” said Christie. “It’s up to him to talk about those things that make him most uncomfortable.”

Christie mentioned his own Town Hall recollection of the last time he went to see his dying mother in the hospital.

“Gov. Romney needs to have a moment like that,” said Christie, nodding that he must put himself at risk and make himself appear somewhat vulnerable in a way that is authentic.

“The more genuine he is, the more there is a chance that he is going to win,” Christie said.

PolitickerNJ.com asked Christie about his perception of Romney's political intelligence.

Christie identified the difference between Romney's skill at being able negotiate the rapids of politics, but suggested the GOP presdiential candidate isn't an animal in the sense that he projects well when he works a crowd of, say, dock workers looking for votes.

"He had an all-Democratic legislature as governor, so he's got those skills," said Christie. On the stump, "He's gotten a lot better."

Since he started campaigning with VP choice U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) he's improved, said the Republican governor. 

"They feed off each other," he said. "If your opponent improves you, that's a good thing."

As for a birther joke Romney made last week, Christie said the candidate probably wishes he could take that one back.

The Back Room

Poll: Romney crushing Christie among Iowa Republican voters

A USA Today Suffolk Poll of 2016 GOP presidential prospects shows 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney crushing Gov. Chris Christie among Iowa Republican voters.

Read More >

LOL

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 28th

Chris Christie's Jekyll & Hyde complex We all know the story: An amiable, even-keeled doctor, in an effort to separate the good from his darker impulses, concocts and consumes a secret potion that, momentarily, induces a metamorphosis of physical and mental being and turns him into a monstrous and...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"He was a focal point for the disturbance." - former New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne (the Essex County Prosecutor in July 1967), of former Newark Mayor Hugh Addonizio

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Who is a better field general for his party as both try to win governor's races around the country?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources