November 5th, 2013
09:42 AM ET
1 year ago

Newt Gingrich: Christie 'one of the top contenders' in 2016

(CNN) - Former House Speaker and CNN host Newt Gingrich says he sees New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a major candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Gingrich was on CNN's "New Day" Tuesday morning talking about the prospects and implications of the day's elections that include governors races in New Jersey and Virginia.

In New Jersey, the "Crossfire" host expected what polls have said for months, a landslide victory for Christie against his Democratic challenger, little known state Sen. Barbara Buono.

"He'll probably set the record for at least the last 30 years," Gingrich said of Christie. "The question will be how many Republicans does he bring into the legislature, which will be a big way of measuring his impact institutionally," he told CNN's Chris Cuomo.

In 2016, Gingrich said he expects Christie to be one of the top four or five contenders for the Republican nomination, alongside Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Perry of Texas.

"I think governors will play a big role in '16," said Gingrich, who served 11 terms in the House of Representatives. Gingrich did not mention any of the legislators thought to be candidates for the 2016 nomination like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Marco Rubio of Florida.

The Virginia race has been in part a matter of messaging, Gingrich said Tuesday, with businessman and former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe leading in the polls largely because he managed to paint his opponent in a negative light early on. Republican Ken Cuccinelli, the state Attorney General, is a tea party favorite whose conservative views have become fodder for McAuliffe in the increasingly purple state.

"The guy who gets defined as an extremist is going to be on defense all the time," Gingrich said.

The messaging and idea of pervasive negativity served as a segue for Gingrich to talk about his new book, "Breakout." According to Gingrich, the book looks at some of the major technological advances and bold ideas in the United States amid what is in large part a complete inability for the political elite to move forward with ideas just as bold.

–CNN's Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Yeah, well, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann have just revealed that Christie's ethical problems while he was AG were so toxic that he didn't pass the Romney campaign's vetting process.

    Chris Christie: Failed the Vetting. Remember that, Democrats, when you think to yourself, "Hey, this guy ain't so bad."

    Of course, CNN (and others) won't push that story very much. They like Christie. He's fat; he's colorful; he's "Jersey". David Letterman likes him, so therefore we must.

    November 5, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. Larry in Houston

    LOL – I typically don't agree with everything the newtster says, but in this case, he's spot on....If the repubs have a primary like the one they did, last time, where each & ecery one slammed the other person, for one thing or another, like 7 or 8 kids, spewing something negative on their own friends (so to speak) they aren't going to make it....They need to find out who's going to be their "guy" ( or person) and get behind him, period....Christy isn't perfect, but if he wins by the margin that is expected, (especially in a blue state, with all the union voters & etc) He's going to THEIR Guy, come 2016, believe me....

    The negative that I see is the T – party......IF they don't accept Christy, and they kick him out, or have trouble trying to "accept" him, for what he believes in, and don't want to accept any type of moderate, you better figure on 'ol Hill as our next potus, period.....

    I honestly don't think they are gonna accept anyone except a hard right winger, and that's too bad...The T party doesn't realize people like Charlie Crist & others are all saying the same thing : "" I didn't leave the republican party, They left me"" and it's showing in all the polls....If this keeps up, there will be a Democrat in the WH, come 2016, and it may end up being 2024 before the T – party finally realizes that they have been doing the wrong thing.

    November 5, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Christie can't win a republican primary. He's just not coocoo enough.

    November 5, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Tampa Tim

    As impressive as Christie's fits of rage against workers are, and how that makes baggers salivate, he would still have to run as a third party candidate. After all, he gave Obama a hug and thanked him, which will negate any bagger support.

    November 5, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Poor Newt. It must be hard for him to accept he has absolutely no influence within the GOP.
    Kudos, though, for trying to suggest otherwise ... yes, Newt?

    Chis Christie will never become President of the United States.

    Yes, I know. It is rather early to be repeating over and over again the same talking points I had for Christie, Romney, et.al. in 2012 ... but hey, the media insists we start a conversation, so I'm going with the flow.

    November 5, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. rs

    The GOP has no one else who is either sane, or pro-democracy, so, yeah, the Newt is right here. Christie doesn't come baggage free however, and no doubt he'll have to battle the clown car of GOP/TP lunatics. If the GOP thinks starting up a Presidential campaign for 2016 next year is smart (really? do they want two full years to highlight their "accomplishments" of the last 5?) this couls be quite the war of attrition.

    November 5, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Durundal

    yeah, but the problem is hes a slovenly bully who does not support education, labor improvements and innovation. That just isnt going to sit well with voters as any kind of national agenda. In as robust of an economy as we have the whole 'oh lets just have everyone work in a factory' isnt going to get us very far because it just isnt cost efficient. Economies mature and develope, we need someone who can

    November 5, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Maybe Mitt should run again, after all, 15% of the republican party thought he killed bin Laden. He seems to be white, and that is a big deal for the RWNJs. 20% of the party, the birthers, do not care that Mitt's daddy was born in Mexico. Since he will say anything to appease the 1%, I think he can get the nomination.

    November 5, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "Newt Gingrich: Christie 'one of the top contenders' in 2016"
    --------------------------------
    I guess Newt didn't get the memo about Gov. Christie chewing out yet another public school teacher yesterday. He does it whenever he's asked questions that he doesn't like to answer. He gets "rough and tough", and most unprofessional.

    November 5, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    What a fascinating experience and it just shows how hardened our positions have become. Not one of the liberals on here would acknowledge a clear lie by our president but are so quick to point a lie by Bush.
    ------------------
    The next time you read a book, instead of reading "Green Eggs and Ham", try reading "The Boy Who Cried Wolf". The collective right wing has been shouting "YOU LIE" so much over the past few years that people have become immune to it.

    November 5, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    Not fit to lead the big nation. He may be good governor–but not for other job.

    November 5, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    Lynda/Minnesota

    Chis Christie will never become President of the United States.
    ------–
    I guess my crystal ball isn't as clear as yours. But I will say this, Lynda... if the ACA continues th be the outright fiasco it's started out to be, every deomcrat is going to have to wear it like a scarlet letter. Hillary? Well, when it comes to the ACA, she's been conspicuous by her silence on the topic, wouldn't you say?

    November 5, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. Hooper

    This creep is what's wrong with the country, not whats right. He's the disease, not the cure. He's a part of the reason we are in the mess we're in today, along with many in his party.

    November 5, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    Yes, I know. It is rather early to be repeating over and over again the same talking points I had for Christie, Romney, et.al. in 2012 ... but hey, the media insists we start a conversation, so I'm going with the flow
    -------------------------------------------------
    I know right?! It is only 2013 and already they're starting with the possible contenders.
    Christie has a snowball's chance in Hades of making it through a primary, much less into the Oval Office.
    He's shady and throws shade wherever he lands. Is it true that he did not make it through the vetting process when MIttens was running? I wouldn't doubt that.
    The truth is that the Tea infested GOP would have to give birth to an anomaly that the Tea Party and those that used to call themselves Republicans can rally behind.
    Neither one of those things is going to happen.
    The country is awkening and it is looking for a good strong cup of coffee. Tea is just not going to cut it anymore.

    November 5, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. ST

    I had to laugh loudly when I watched Romney on Sunday saying Christie is the right person to win election come 2016. If that is the case why didn't he take him as his VP 2012 in which could prepare him to move on to another step? Now Gingrich comes and sees Christie as a winner in 2016? Really? What makes Christie different from who he was in 2012? Does winning New Jersey translate to what he will do to the rest of the country? What do other States like of him? You can't shift a plant which flourish in one place and expect once placed in a different place with different atmosphere, will do the same.

    November 5, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Fair is Fair
    Lynda/Minnesota

    Chis Christie will never become President of the United States.
    --–
    I guess my crystal ball isn't as clear as yours. But I will say this, Lynda... if the ACA continues th be the outright fiasco it's started out to be, every deomcrat is going to have to wear it like a scarlet letter. Hillary? Well, when it comes to the ACA, she's been conspicuous by her silence on the topic, wouldn't you say?
    -----------

    Oh, I don't know, Fair. Scarlet letter seems a bit drastic, don't you think? We (America) have been rehashing ACA for over 4 years now. I wouldn't put too much weight on whether ACA is going to fail before 2016, let alone election day 2014. Then again, It's good to count chickens before they hatch and while the anti-ACA chickens are somewhat vocal they have yet to lay the defund Obamacare egg.

    Christie has issues far and above the ACA website malfunctions. As do GOP governors in those blue states which come 2014 will once again be up for grabs and ripe for Democratic picking.

    November 5, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Fair posted:

    Lynda/Minnesota

    Chis Christie will never become President of the United States.
    --–
    I guess my crystal ball isn't as clear as yours. But I will say this, Lynda... if the ACA continues th be the outright fiasco it's started out to be, every deomcrat is going to have to wear it like a scarlet letter. Hillary? Well, when it comes to the ACA, she's been conspicuous by her silence on the topic, wouldn't you say?
    --------------------------
    Christie's "faux indignation" needs some serious overhaulin' before he could be a credible candidate for POTUS. As I posted earlier, he bawled out yet another public school teacher who dared to ask him a tough question. Not ready for POTUS time. Not now, not ever. The offensive behavior is too deeply ingrained into his psyche that he'd never be able to stop doing it.

    November 5, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Fair is Fair

    I did try to respond to your comment. It went directly to moderation, so whether or not it is posted is anyone's guess. To paraphrase: I am not too worried whether or not Hillary Clinton seeks the presidency. Nor would I count on the ACA website failures to generate much angst come 2014 - let alone 2016 - for Democrats.

    That being said, Chris Christie has issues far and beyond the Affordable Care Act.

    November 5, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. Thomas

    Jon Huntsman would be the best GOP candidate , yet he is to smart , has to much experience and speaks fluent Mandarin . And the Teabags don't want that " God forbid " .

    The only Big Guns the GOP have in there arsenal is a double barreled Jeb Bush / Chris Christie ticket in 2016.

    As for Newt Gingrich , wish he would go away , take some art classes like GW .
    It's funny , republicans never give anything back after they retire . Look at Carter or Clinton , they continue to give .

    November 5, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  20. Jose79845

    The fat man who sometime in the future will be draining the health care with his utter failure to control his physical health will be telling other people how bad Obamacare is and micro managing them with an escalated drug war. The drug war by itself is nothing more than a big government nanny state program with an agenda to militarize the police and do the very same things the GOP accuse the liberals of doing with a big nanny state government.

    November 5, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. Thomas

    Jon Huntsman would be the best GOP candidate , yet he is to smart , has to much experience and speaks fluent Mandarin . And the Teabags don't want that " God forbid " .

    The only Big Guns the GOP have in there arsenal, Jeb Bush / Chris Christie ticket in 2016.

    As for Newt Gingrich , wish he would go away , take some art classes like GW .
    It's funny , republicans never give anything back after they retire . Look at Carter or Clinton , they continue to give .

    November 5, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. Data Driven

    "Is it true that he did not make it through the vetting process when MIttens was running? I wouldn't doubt that."

    Yep, according to the new "Game Change" book. Concerns from the Romney camp included Christie's lavish expense accounts while he was AG, the usual domestic-help issues, and some others that I can't remember off the top of my head. The clincher for the Romney people was the Christie camp's rebuttal, "Why is this important?". The Romney camp replied, "If you have to ask that question, we've got a problem." (Paraphrasing)

    November 5, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Why don't they rally and coalesce around Mittens? Again.
    At least they would know what they were working with.

    November 5, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Dominican mama: "I know right?! It is only 2013 and already they're starting with the possible contenders."

    Rudy suggested Christie once again became belligerent with school teacher. I find this attitude amazing for someone who purportedly enjoys a fairly large lead in what amounts to today's re-election win. Suggesting perhaps that the man is very insecure emotionally. Why else direct his temper tantrums thus during a winning election campaign? I doubt he'll make it out of the primary - not for lack of TeaPer support - but lack of emotional restraint, of which it seems he has very little.

    November 5, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. ST

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama
    They can't rally around Mitt again. He is already the damage good and no one wants to touch or be closer to it.

    November 5, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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