(CNN) – Gov. Chris Christie became the latest Republican to distance himself from Mitt Romney Friday for saying President Barack Obama won last week's election by offering "gifts" to minority voters.
The New Jersey governor, who endorsed Romney early in the primary process and acted as one of the candidate's top surrogates, was more restrained in his criticism than some other Republicans, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, saying Romney was still smarting from a negative campaign that ended in an Election Day defeat.
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"He's a good man. He will find his level. And I think it's still a little raw," Christie said on MSNBC. "Do I wish he hadn't said those things? Of course not. But on the other hand, I'm not going to bury the guy for it."
"I understand he's very upset about having lost the election and very disappointed," he continued. "I've never run for president – I've lost elections but never for the presidency – and I'm sure it stings terribly."
Romney's interest in parsing various electoral blocs was the wrong focus, Christie said, saying the former GOP nominee couldn't "expect to be the leader of all the people and be divisive."
The type of post-election analysis Romney was offering made little sense to the New Jersey governor, who said it was time to focus back on governing, rather than making excuses for last Tuesday's electoral thrashing.
"I always hate this kind of scapegoating after elections. When you lose, you lost," Christie said.
He pointed to GOP governors as the future of the party, noting gains made by the Republicans in statehouses, compared to a loss of seats in the Senate and House.
"People see us getting things done," Christie said, saying Republicans don't require a "core philosophical examination."
"What this is about is doing our jobs," he said. "And people expect that if they give you the privilege of serving. Do your job."
He touted his own success in negotiating an agreement with teachers in Newark to grant performance pay based on reviews conducted by their colleagues, promoting the new contract with Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers.
Christie – who came under fire from some Republicans after the election for appearing with Obama during storm relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy – said the new teachers' contract was an example of finding middle ground in areas where two sides have traditionally been at odds. The funding for the new, merit-based payments will come from a $100 million contribution to Newark schools by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
"We all decided we needed to do something different," Christie said, saying he and the teachers' union located "a boulevard of compromise that exists" between issuing bonuses based on merit or seniority.
"The job of a leader is to find your way onto that boulevard," Christie said.
Newark schools have been controlled by the state of New Jersey, rather than locally, since 1995. Zuckerberg's contribution last year prompted local authorities to petition for control of their schools, a push that was ultimately unsuccessful. Newark's mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, is seen as a possible choice to challenge Christie in next year's gubernatorial election in the Garden State.
On his monthly radio show Thursday, Booker praised the teachers' deal, saying there was "no contract like it in America."
"It really has broken ground," he said.
I'm glad he's voicing his opinion and now he's seeing what other voters felt and the reason why they voted for Obama. He's a sore loser, it's over move on now. All these reasons why he thinks Obama won what's the point now? I think a lot of it is just palin o'l ego.
of course, romney and many others are upset. they know he was the only person qualified to get the country out of this mess. obama and the democrats have no intention of ever cutting spending and just want to keep raising taxes and spending more and more. obama and the democrats – forward over the fiscal cliff. its a great ride until that last landing part.
It's everyone else's fault that the Republicans couldn't get it together – once we all understand that, we can stop this infernal discussion.
After Sandy and the election, I have quite a bit more respect for Christie. Now if he can resist the temptation of falling in the "Tea Party" and Grover Norquist abyss He may just be the kind of politician the Republican party needs.
Everyone will see what is wrong with Romney, had he won none of these comments would have been made, it would have been said that his way is the way to campaign. As they say, success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan!
Romney's true colors came out when he cancelled the credit cards of his staff without telling them immediately after he lost and left them stranded far from home! Nice Guy!!!
Chris Christie in 2016!
I keep hearing people bringing up the subject of what Romney will do now that he lost the election, offering up suggestions like becoming a FOX correspondant. They make it sound like this guy is hurting for cash and needs a job badly. Mitt can never work another day in his life and yet live every day better than you or I. I think he and his car elevator will get by.
Unlike Romney and McCain Christie is not Denial. Republican Party badly need straight talkers.
@Claudia, very well said, I too am waiting to see that. John, just needs to retire and go to one of his several houses, which he doesnt know how many he owns, and cry it out and get on with life. and one more fact, McCain has been on federal income all his life. so, why is he upset about the 47%
How could Romney STILL be "raw"? His goose was cooked months ago.
So, Romney wasn't offering gifts to his rich backers and corporations?
Willard's supporters are finally figuring out Willard was only in this for Willard. They now know he doesn't care anything about this country, the future of the republican party of the surrogates who helped him. This is exactly the reason he was rejected by so many of us who saw right through this user and gave him the door. I can't wait until one of his non military serving sons tries to follow in his footsteps. They'll get the same treatment from me that I gave to their unAmerican father.
Poor [Rafelca] – just give it a few months and you'll hear this horse "suddenly" got sick and died as it failed to medal and the Romney's didn't make it to the WhiteHouse.
Nothing is too low for a Romney.
Mitt: If it "stings", I heard that rubbing $1,000 bills on it will help ease the pain.
I have to admit I voted for Obama because I was promised an Olympic horse and a car elevator.
The republicans do not have a clue. Just vote them all out and maybe they will come to their senses. We need to move forward with or without them. Romney thought that since he was rich he could do and say anything and no one would reject him. Well the American people showed him. He needs to be mad at his campaign for letting him tell lies and also for lying to him that he would win no matter what. He ws counting on the hatred vote to pull him through. He is still shell-shocked that he lost, because this is not how it was suppose to go down. Romney and McCain should ride off into the sunset together so that we will never hear from them again.
"But I'm a millionaire, how could I lose??? How could you peasants do this to me? WAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!"
I would like to think that it is people waking up that caused this election, but truthfully I don't. In my opinion it was because we have technology that allows us to record and then review a person at a later time.
Once politicians get used to that fact and learn to control what they say and do in public or on video, I think people will go back to believing what lies they are told from both parties.
Mitt lost because he have never been in the spot light for such a long consistent time, so he really didn't know how his words would be scrutinized for over such a long period of time. Other politicians are more savvy. once they get learn to deal with the new electronic age and how everything is recorded, they will begin to fare better and once again, if we the people don't keep a critical eye out most will continue to fall for they lies.
Romney lost this but it was the recording devices that helped.
Yes Mitt is very upset that he lost the election. However, his grief is nothing compared to that of one Tagg Romney. Tagg is still under the impression that if Mitt is president, he would succeed the throne once Mitt passes away.
So many posts sound like (and I would guess on Fox also) the House and the Senate speaking of each other. Can we not all move past this crap, and concentrate on more pressing issues that are now taking place. What is – is – get over it.
Living on a "red" state but hailing from NJ, I follow the northeast news regularly. Many of my family and friends – all of whom have always been registered Democrats – really like Christie. His bluntness and "take-no-prisoners" demeanor is a trademark of New Jersey. Me liking him? Not so much. However, make no mistake. His political career will never advance to beyond state level because the man is a walking heart attack. I believe the reason he was not on the Republican ticket as VP is because having to be one heartbeat away from the presidency, the world would be waiting for President Christie to fall over dead or stroke out if something happened to Romney. The first thing to go would be the vegetable garden. All he can hope for is that the Republican party doesn't hang the Scarlett O around his neck like they did to Charlie Crist in Florida – all over a handshake and a backslapping manhug
If Obama got votes because he gave gifts, I am guessing that Christie also likely voted for Obama because he was given Federal support, emergency declaration funds and infrastructure assistance.
"Hostess getting the shaft from Obama's labor unions"
Hostess has been in banruptcy proceedings since 2004. Is your argument that Hostess started bankruptcy proceedings in 2004 because it knew who would be elected in 2012?
Hostess came out of bankruptcy in 2009. The union put them right back in.
Romney might want to purchase the "Hostess" corporation and ship it overseas or better yet let Christie run the company. Well, he can afford to build a replica of the White House with a car elevator.
Dems want a country where we are one american family that looks out for one another. Reps want an america where its every man for himself, and forget everyone else. Reps are on the wrong side of history!