Christie says Romney still 'upset' after loss
November 16th, 2012
10:03 AM ET
1 year 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)
  1. Blondie

    Of course he said those things....he's a creep.....and this is what the GOP brought to the table......a creep.

    November 16, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. The REAL Truth...

    Talk about an empty chair...

    November 16, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. sawsharee

    When the true unemployment of 14% reaches 20% and you are all out of a job, let's see how wonderful your great imperial leader is? Romney would have turned this disastrous economy around and put honesty back in the white house. Elections have consequences.

    November 16, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. WhereIsPalin

    RYAN / romney 2012...........It's over. By the way, where is that Ryan guy?

    November 16, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. DavidE7

    I began to understand who Mitt Romney was in 2008 by the way he campaigned in Iowa against Mike Huckabee, by trying to buy the election with vicious negative advertising against a man with no money, and then didn't bother with the congratulatory call when Huckabee won the State. It was said Romney wanted to end the nominating process at the beginning of it by buying the first few States. Beyond that plastered smile and pleasant voice is a tyrant. I kind of thought America would see through him again.

    November 16, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. Chumlee

    MitWit: YOU LOST.

    Now, please go away

    November 16, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Mitt, go to the Cayman Islands and take a break and use your gifts...........maybe you could run for office there !!!!

    November 16, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Alfred E. Neuman

    Romney is showing his true colors. Of course losing a presidential election is a very hard thing, but we expect who run for that office to at least behave responsibly when they do lose. The more Romney complains the more people will be convinced the right man won!

    November 16, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. kel

    Romney is right. He still got 48% of the votes. I'm a naturalized American citizen and I know a lot of latinos. They believed that Romney was anti-immigrants. Obama broke his promise of tackling immigration reform within the first year of his term; then he waited just before the election to sign an executive order for young illegals that would let people stay here for 2 years. What a leader! No permanent solution, no need to work w/ Congress. Only a blind person would be fooled by his pandering.

    November 16, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. GuyP

    Get over it, Rawmney!

    November 16, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Lenny Pincus

    If Romney could have convinced America that he had the concrete plans to benefit the country, he would have been elected. Instead he claimed some secretive formula for success based on his vulture capitalism days, and he squirmed every time it came up.

    November 16, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. scottf

    The sad thing is we could have elected this weather vane as President. This man is just plain mean spirited and in my opinion a sociopath. Hopefully we will learn from the negative carpet bombing advertising approach.

    November 16, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. PhilG

    sawsharee, so Mitt would turn the economy around? Maybe he would in fact, have done that. But, I'm a pretty bright guy, and I never understood how his "five point plan" would have helped grow the economy. Because he refused to EVER offer any specifics on how he would do it. He was just an awful candidate, and the R's know it. But, remember – the R's obstructed the President at every turn the last 4 years, on every piece of legislation he tried to get through. Maybe now with the fiscal cliff looming, they can get it through their heads that they better learn to compromise and get a budget deal done, or this country is in real trouble. And the majority of Americans believe it would be their fault if that happened.

    November 16, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Sly

    Romney is a moron and American's like Christie were disgusted with his lack of brains. Sounds like he is a very poor loser as well.

    The Republican leaders are throwing the moron under the bus for his non-stop stupid comments.

    Mitt is toast – we won't be hearing from him again.

    Thank goodness for President Obama!

    November 16, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. ncmyk

    oh mitt, just come on over to the white house for a root beer summit.

    November 16, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. HNBC

    Poor Romney. Most of us learn that life brings disappointments and we roll with the punches. It's past time for both Romney and Ryan to get over themselves and accept defeat graciously.

    November 16, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. michael

    whats sad and a little funny is all the complainng repubs cant seem to let go. they will live in the past and make excuses just like the party leadership does and it will continue to be a downward spiral. fine with me

    November 16, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  18. klbcolo

    Romney seems to be pretty selective in identifying "gifts" granted to potential voters. What, if not a "gift" do you call his 14% tax rate when most of the rest of folks paying taxes on much less income are not getting that reduced rate – or any additional public services which are supported by tax revenue?

    Time for the pity party to end. We ALL need to focus our time and talents on moving forward together. Honest.

    November 16, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Mr. Romney is a good man.

    November 16, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. norma jean

    Romney finally found something he couldn't buy......!!!!

    November 16, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    Mitt Romney lost the election. It's time for all of us to move on ... including all the thumb suckers still crying for their blankie. Their insults - offensive as they are - are nothing in comparison to the political loss these folks will continue to see if they keep up their verbal nonsense. The same folks Romney and Company have spent the past 4 years insulting are the same folks who will be voting in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 (and so on). Keep insulting us, GOPers. So far, it hasn't gone well for your side. Unless there is some small amount of bi-partisanship coming from your side, 2014 mid-terms won't go well for the GOP either.

    November 16, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. jvance

    Gov Romney believes that he could have been should have been elected. At heart he is sliightly right-centrist, but his turn came up when he had to be the standard-bearer for a ROP that was just a little too far from center.
    Maybe he should have switched parties and run a primary challenge against the President.

    November 16, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Cat

    Romney lost because he was dishonest and secretive about his plans for the country and also his finances. He pandered to whatever group he spoke to and was not genuine in anything he said. He showed his arrogence by thinking that the middle class would not be intelligent enough to see through his charade and now that he lost, he just can't figure it out, as he thought he had it all sowed up. Just goes to show how out of touch he is with himself!

    November 16, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. girliegirl

    Christie should be give NO media time–he's just an angry sounding person who contributes nothing to the wellbeing of society. We have enough of his kind in this country!

    November 16, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. kel

    One of the reasons that Romney lost is that republicans eat their own like Christie illustrated during Sandy. Romney was really classy and said nothing while Christie gushed over Obama. All Obama did was to give the go ahead so FEMA could act, which is his duty anyway. Obama didn't followed the guidelines though and approved all the help prior to the storm, and before they could assess the damage.

    November 16, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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