Raising the bar: Christie says Romney will do 'extraordinarily well' Wednesday
September 30th, 2012
01:50 PM ET
9 years ago

Raising the bar: Christie says Romney will do 'extraordinarily well' Wednesday

(CNN) – Playing the expectations game? Not Chris Christie.

In fact, amid pre-debate campaign banter on both sides aimed at raising expectations for the opposing candidate, Christie showed unfiltered confidence in GOP nominee Mitt Romney's ability to best President Barack Obama in the debates.

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Christie, a top surrogate for the Romney campaign, hit the talk show circuit hard, appearing Sunday on ABC, CBS and NBC.

On ABC's "This Week," the New Jersey governor predicted the aftermath of Wednesday's first presidential debate.

"When we get to Thursday morning, you'll be saying it's a brand new race with 33 days to go," Christie said.

"Every time Mitt Romney has been confronted in this campaign with one of these moments, he has come through in the debate and performed extraordinarily well - laying out his vision very clearly and also contrasting himself and his vision with whoever his opponent was at the time," said Christie, referring to a series of hotly contested debates with a pack of fiery conservative opponents during the Republican primaries.

Christie repeated his confidence in the GOP nominee's debate prowess on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"He's going to contrast what his view is and the president's record, and the president's view for the future. And this whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning," he said, pointing to Romney's experience in the primary debates as evidence of the candidate's ability to shine even when backed into the proverbial corner.

Christie reiterated: "Thursday morning you're all going to be scratching your heads and saying, 'Wow, we have a barn burner for the next 33 days!'"

"Let's be honest," he conceded. "I'm not going to sit here and come on this morning and sugarcoat the last couple of weeks. They've been tough. But here's the great news for Republicans - we have a candidate who is going to do extraordinarily well on Wednesday night."

In recent weeks, the Romney campaign has faced pointed criticism from both sides of the aisle following reports of a campaign in disarray and the candidate's questionable response to the administration's handling of attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans.

More notably, Romney's now-infamous "47%" comments, caught on secretly recorded video at a private fund-raiser in May, have caused a major late-campaign-season stir. While courting a group of top-dollar donors at a Florida fund-raiser, Romney claimed that nearly half of Americans would not vote for him because they are dependent on government services and consider themselves "victims."

But Christie believes these gaffes and a recent spate of conservative criticism will not dog the campaign after Romney's predicted stellar showing in the debates.

"The campaign hasn't had a good two weeks," he said on CBS. "The bottom line is, it changes on Wednesday night."

Christie pushed back on spin from Democrats, who have contrasted Romney's more recent debate experience against the president's alleged lack thereof, since he's four years removed from a national debate stage.

"(Obama has) only been the leader of the free world and commander in chief of our military for that time," said Christie on ABC. "I think he's had a few debates inside the White House over time, and I think he'll be very good."

Regarding several recent polls showing the president with a solid advantage over the GOP candidate, Christie noted the campaign's rocky past few weeks, but predicted Wednesday night would be the "restart" and, ultimately, begin a shift in the polls.

After all, Christie said on NBC's "Meet the Press," Americans are just beginning to pay attention to the race.

"They're going to start tuning in on Wednesday night. And when they do, Gov. Romney will lay out his vision for a better and greater America, for greater opportunity, for all of our citizens. And I think that's when you're going to see this race really start to tighten and then move in Gov. Romney's direction," Christie said on NBC.

But how can Romney boost his likability - a factor the president has consistently bested him on in the polls - while remaining tough on the president's record?

Christie said all Romney needs to do is tell the truth and that, in and of itself, will reflect on the president's record.

"Romney can walk and chew gum at the same time," said Christie on ABC. "I'm not worried."

Last week, Christie campaigned for Republican gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne in New Hampshire, igniting speculation about whether Christie has presidential aspirations for 2016.

On CBS, Christie balked at that idea, saying he hopes to be working for Romney's re-election in 2016, and "any conversation about anything else is going to turn out not to be necessary, because Mitt Romney is going to be elected president November 6."

Filed under: 2012 • Chris Christie
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. The Elephant in the Room

    Success for Romney in the debate will not depend on a "one-line zinger" against the President. This isn`t that lame excuse for a "debate" that we saw this spring from Romney, Gingrich, Bachmann, Perry, Santorum, Cain, etc.

    We don`t trust Romney. On Thursday morning, how will he have convinces us to trust hinnn on domestic policy? He refuses to give us soecific plans & details. Any tax reform details he might give will beg questions as to how it would impact him and the 1%`er`s. Nobody is buying "tax cuts for job creators". Nobody is going to accept Ryans tax plan that would cut Mitts tax rate to ONE PERCENT while raising taxes on hard working families.

    The President will be Romney at "the dozens" and beat him on the specifics. He need only remind us why we shouldn`t trust Romney to win the debate and harden the cement boots around Romney`s feet before he drops him in Lake Michigan.

    September 30, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. BobInIrvine

    GOP Fantasyland. Appropriately, that's where the SPINning teacups are.

    September 30, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. sick of republican phonies

    As a NJ resident, I have seen the Christie method- say what you HOPE, politically, is true- the non- existent "New Jersey comeback" is exhibit A- and this piece of propaganda re: Romney at the debates is just another example. For all his "straight talk", he is just another republican phony.

    September 30, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. incredulous

    Right, and Christmas will come early and the Tooth Fairy will leave a big wad of cash under all our pillows..... When has Romney ever laid out any kind of plan or vision?

    Romney was only adequate in the primary debates because of the clowns he was up against. If he was capable of debating well he'd be capable of running a better campaign.

    September 30, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. The Other Dale

    "It'll change on Wednesday night."

    The problem with this is that they same the same thing when Romney gave his acceptance speech during the convention and – opps – didn't happen. Every time the Republicans say, "this will be it!" it isn't.

    And when it comes down to itChristie is just a blouted cheerleader for the GOP. What else do you expect him to say at this point? "My life is a hollow lie and Romney is going to bomb on Wednesday!"? Of course not.

    September 30, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    Just another idiot. GOP cult. Nonsense. Obama12.

    September 30, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Christie said "Romney can walk and chew gum at the same time", he must be thinking about his next meal because Romney has proven he is incapable to doing both.

    September 30, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Romney-Ryan = Stench-Skunk

    There aren't enough undecided voters for these debates to make a difference. Between Romney dissing half the country, "harvesting" people's retirement and Ann's worry about Mitt's mental health, I don't think Romney can sway anyone into his corner. He will be preaching to the choir.

    September 30, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. tsb610

    Christie's obvious poor health and diet will make him a very unattractive presidential candidate even to people who might otherwise support his views and values Voters will have to question whether Christie will be able to serve a full term or be able to handle the pressures and demands of being the President.

    September 30, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    "When we get to Thursday morning, you'll be saying it's a brand new race with 33 days to go," Christie said.
    October 4th 2012 Thursday morning FOX and Friends talking point blame the mainstream media, they set the bar high “do or die” for Romney , Romney couldn’t do because of pressure from Mainstream media

    September 30, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. mrdeepblue

    This comment cannot appear here since the poster is way to busy making Pop-Corn for the Obama "shooting fish in a barrel" debate against Mitt. ...the Twit.

    A Registered Republican, voting Obama.

    P.S.- Hey Mitt, I am NOT a victim, I'm a Vet, in the 47%,and I have something to say to you. I will shout it out to you with my VOTE.

    September 30, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Sorensen

    He has not got the first idea of what is going to happen!

    September 30, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Peace

    Whether Romney will do well or not in debates won't change things much or not at all. Debates are like reaching at a finishing stage on what a candidate has been building on during the campaign. It is like building a strong house which needs first, stable foundation, lifting up the walls and finally do the roofing and fittings to make it ready. Unfortunately, Romney didn't build up a good foundation of his campaign and neither the walls. Reaching now at the finishing stage and do well will not qualify him as a competent person.

    September 30, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Karl Jonas

    And Christie would know this... how?

    Romney laying out his "vision" against the likes of Perry, Gingrich, Santorum, Cain & Bachman is a far far cry from debating President Obama.

    September 30, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The bar for Mittens has been set lower than the bar was set for Sarah Palin. If Mittens doesn't drool or pass gas, it will be a victory for him.

    September 30, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Woman In California

    Christie said all Romney needs to do is tell the truth and that, in and of itself, will reflect on the president's record.

    Willard is incapable of telling the truth about anything, including his real first name so there is Problem #1.

    After all, Christie said on NBC's "Meet the Press," Americans are just beginning to pay attention to the race.

    This statement reaks of ignorance. Christie's belief that Americans are just NOW starting to pay attention to this race is in and of itself, offensive to the intelligence of the American people. The minority that Christie is speaking of is so small, they really won't make much of a difference. It is the independents (such as myself) who will make this election and most of us have already made up our minds at this point.

    The truth is, Willard is in the position he's in NOW because HE placed himself in that position, not the media, not the American people and not some super PACs. All by himself he made the 47% comment, insulted our closest ally and decided Paul Ryan would be his running mate. Blaming the president is not going to get them back in the White House and Christie is only lying to himself if he thinks otherwise.

    September 30, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |