Christie says Romney still 'upset' after loss
November 16th, 2012
10:03 AM ET
6 years ago

Christie says Romney still 'upset' after loss

(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.

Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (319 Responses)

    Of course Mitt Romney is upset after losing the election!!!
    Most people get upset when they don't get what they pay for.

    November 16, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. Herbal Tea Party

    Although there should still be a concern regarding the Citizen United ruling by the SCOTUS, at least the 2012 Presidential Election showed that not only 'money can't buy you love' but also 'money can't buy you the presidency'.
    As far as Mr. Romney's gifts comment, his 'gifts' of tax rate reductions, zero capital gains and inheritance taxes, etc. to the wealthy sure didn't workout.

    November 16, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. keshalaws

    They are all bitter that their job of making President Obama a one term president did not work. Now, they're willing to work with him because they see the people saw their BS!

    November 16, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Sean

    Wow he really thought he was going to win didn't he? lmao. Looking at faux news you can tell they just don't get it and likely never will. They are busy talking about how Mitt's loss was just a marketing problem in addition to Obama's gifts of course. Funny how the Mittens camp had to tune into CNN to get the real story of what was unfolding on election night.

    November 16, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. rajani

    Christie for 2016. We can rarely find an honest man like Christie in Republican Party. It is stinking with kinds of John McCains and Romneys.

    November 16, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Daniel

    If black and latinos wanted "gifts" for voting highly for Obama then what was the motivation for Asians (70+%), Jewish voters (68%), and Native Americans (96+%) for Obama? I'm waiting for someone in the media to ask this question of Romney when he is done pouting.

    November 16, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. massachusetts conservative mom

    Christie is just as much of a flip flopper as Romney.

    November 16, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. mm

    the filthy rich of course throw tantrums when they don't get what they want, just like spoiled children.

    November 16, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. REALLY?

    Mitt shoud and McCain should get together for some much need councling. Both gentlemen are having problems coping with the loss. I hope Mitt doesn't end up like the bitter old loser that McCain is becoming. America has really dodged two bullets not putting these guys into office.

    November 16, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. Dennis1020

    Mitt and Anne learned a painful lesson–the Presidency is not a birthright, you have to earn it. The only thing they have earned is the election loss and the enmity of an otherwise grateful nation.

    November 16, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Nathan

    I hope Christie was referring to the negative campaign that Romney was running.

    November 16, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. sam

    The funniest thing here is that the guy who tried to buy the election is accusing someone else of buying it.

    November 16, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. ClarasBeau

    Apparently Mr. Romney does not see any value in making any of us wonder if he might have been the better choice. I can't help but think that we may have dodged a bullet here. In the end, it may be that it's all about character. (And apparently he's showing us that he IS one! – – HA!)

    November 16, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. ru serious

    Reality check: This was an extremely close election, no "mandate" for Obama, he barely won.

    November 16, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. zandhcats

    To ensure their own interests, the riches will come back with more money to throw into the next election in 2014.

    November 16, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. Tammy

    I bet it stings.. yup. He's lost TWICE. How's it feel to be one of the 47% now, Mittens? The 47% who voted FOR you, of course.

    Kudos the Christie for moving on.

    November 16, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Jean

    I've gained some measure of respect for Chris Christie lately, at least he seems better connected to we "little people" than the likes of MItt Romney who most people could see with one eye was all about the upper classes. In spite of some fancy morphing and lots and lots of money, thank goodness he lost. Now Romeny further exposes the little man he really is with all his whining about "gifts" and buyiing the election. Good grief If anyone tried to buy the elction,it was Romney! !Bitter, bitter little man, not used to not getting is own way.

    November 16, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. Bulls

    Mittens, get over it dude You could not buy the White House.

    November 16, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Sy2502

    Chris Christie is the kind of Republican the GOP needs, someone who's head isn't so far up the rear end of partisan politics as to incapacitate him from recognizing good work from the other side of the isle, or from cooperating in a productive way with his political opponents. Unfortunately those are precisely the qualities that will gain him nothing but hate from his own party.

    November 16, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  20. Luwei King

    Fair and balance: To be fair, it is true that president Obama raised spent more money than Mitt Romney? The last figure I had is one billion vs 900 millions. I wonder at the end the one who has more money won. It is always the case not matter who you are. Without money, no one can win.

    November 16, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  21. cricket

    romney continues to affirm that he was not the man for the job. even his own are distancing themselves. his arrogance, supported by his wealth, was his downfall. he would do well to just fade away quietly.

    November 16, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Thomas

    Romney has enough money to find a good therapist ,
    Romney and McCain might consider going together , it's very therapeutic to understand your not alone . And there are others choosing to suffer from the same condition of denial.

    Denial , Sadness, Anger , Lose , Fear of rejection . Humility and acceptance is there only way to recover .

    Money can't buy you Luv baby !

    November 16, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. chilly g

    IM so happy that the president won relection and that all the money and all the cheating the president still won.

    November 16, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Nathan

    The loss has exposed something in Romney that is pretty troubling: Everyone else is to blame. He has such a powerful sense of his own superiority that he's blind to his own weaknesses. I'm convinced now–I wasn't fully convinced before–that he would not have made a good president. This Romney reminds me of the Romney who, when he was in high school, cut the hair off of a long-haired schoolmate while other guys held the poor kid down on the ground. That's pretty ugly, even for a high school kid. So is this bitter throwing of blame everywhere. It's just tearing other people down. It doesn't help at all. Of course, it's understandable. Many people get bitter and hostile when they lose. Not a good trait for a potential president, though.

    November 16, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. Matt Sewell

    Wow, don't you have a mess to be cleaning up Gov. Christie? Get back to work and forget about the 2012 election for crying out loud. Get your priorities straight.

    November 16, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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