A year after the 2012 election, Romney talks 2016
November 3rd, 2013
12:41 PM ET
9 years ago

A year after the 2012 election, Romney talks 2016

Washington (CNN) – Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney dismissed reports that he passed over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as his running mate because of Christie’s weight.

On NBC's "Meet the Press," the former Massachusetts governor told David Gregory that Christie's size and health had nothing to do with his not being picked for the GOP ticket.

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"With regards to his health, he provided his records to us. His health is very solid, very good. There's not an issue there," Romney said.

The report that Romney stressed Christie's girth in his vice-presidential vetting came from the soon-to-be-released book, "Double Down: Game Change 2012," by reporters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Reports on the book say the campaign had issues with the governor's size and that even the candidate himself had a laugh at Christie's expense.

"While watching a video of Christie without his suit jacket on, Romney cackled to his aides, 'Guys! Look at that!'" according to multiple accounts of the book.

Romney ultimately decided to choose Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, as his running mate.

"The reason I chose Paul Ryan was, as I indicated before, which is Paul had a complement of experience and skills that I thought would be helpful if he’d actually been vice president. I'd been a governor. I hadn't worked in Washington. He'd been in Washington."

Still, Romney seemed pretty high Sunday on Christie’s chances in 2016. He’s up for re-election as governor Tuesday, a race he’s expected to win easily.

It’s that ease which Romney said impresses him the most about Christie, because New Jersey is a heavily Democratic state. President Barack Obama won 58% of that state’s vote in 2012.

"You can't argue with the kind of success (Christie has) had," Romney said. "He's a very popular governor in a very blue state."

And Romney doesn’t think Christie’s success is going to be confined to the Garden State. In fact, he thinks Christie could be the savior of the GOP.

"Chris could easily become our nominee, save our party and get our country back on track again. They don't come better than Chris Cristie," Romney said.

Romney also mentioned a few other potential GOP nominees for 2016, including Ryan, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio - but he’s not sold on one other potential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

When Gregory asked Romney if he thought Cruz would be a good candidate, there was no ringing endorsement.

"I'm not going to disqualify anybody, but I think I've indicated some of the names I think are most effective in becoming elected," Romney said.

There is one race Romney is an expert on, and that’s the one last year between him and Obama. Romney said he gave it all he had and has no regrets.

"I ran because I believed I was the most effective guy to be able to beat President Obama. It's not easy beating in incumbent. But I thought I was the most likely to be able to do so. And I gave everything I possibly could give to make that the reality," Romney said.

Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Chris Christie • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Ted Cruz
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    GOP is doomed. Practically speaking they have NO policies at all other than War., Guns.

    November 3, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The Dems have a stranglehold on America...........and they have no intention of allowing that to change. They will use every means at their disposal to win by hook or crook, including again committing voter fraud.

    November 3, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Mittens, every one has to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer and drink to your loss in 2012. How sweet it was.

    November 3, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Practically speaking absolutely NONE of the guys Mitt said are worth my Dime. This includes Criss. Nevertheless I do not dislike Criss–I would not give Presidency of the Richest nation, well-organized nation to him. Yes, on Hillary16.

    November 3, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Romney lost so he is not relevant. Christie is a bully. More center than most of GOP but he is not Presidential. Might be great for State politics but not at the Federal level. He would be deplorable at Foreign Policy and Treaties. He has no capacity for reasonable, worldly, negotiation. He is a bully. They may love him in New Jersey but he wouldn't do well in London, Paris, Damascus, or Moscow. Not National quality.

    November 3, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    Hurricane Sandy helped Obama and Christie

    “He’s not sold on one other potential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.”
    Form Romney own experience (self deportation) He knows Sen. Ted Cruz will be 2016 GOP nominee

    November 3, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    There's no way Christie can be considered to be in good health. He's been obese for years, and chances are he's going to have a heart attack in the next five years (not to mention the damage he's done to his joints from carrying around all that extra weight).

    November 3, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    A brain dead right wingnut wrote that ACA was socialism. It appears private insurance companies competing for insures is now viewed as socialism. How dumb are these domestic terrorists.

    November 3, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. labman57

    Mitt Romney was a shape-shifting politimorph. He would embrace whatever public persona and policy stance that he believed ... at that particular moment ... would help him to attain his political aspirations.

    November 3, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney's opinions are suspect because he is still in denial over his 2012 loss.

    November 3, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. S. B. Stein

    The problem is that people don't understand that Christie has bullied many people into thinking that what he is doing is a good idea. If Corzine had run a forceful campaign, the he would still be governor. Christie is more an ideologue than people think he is. That is a problem since he hasn't been a good administrator. His lashing out at other people is not a good presidential disposition. We'd have allies leaving us because Christie said something stupid or hurtful.

    November 3, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. MaryM

    HA!!! Anyone that Romney endorses would be the kiss of death. No one will forget Romneys 47% comment.

    November 3, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. GOP = Greed Over People

    "While watching a video of Christie without his suit jacket on, Romney cackled to his aides, 'Guys! Look at that!'"

    His Mormon upbringing has taught him empathy for others, right? No jokes about the guy's size right?

    MTT would never vilify someone, say, for the length of their hair, right? Uh, wait...

    November 3, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    You can fix a web site, but you cannot fix the mind of a brain dead right wingnut.

    November 3, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Tampa Tim

    I have read that the Kochs are spending millions to get Florida governor Rick Scott re elected. I wonder if it has anything to phosphates in fertilizer.

    November 3, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    @Tampa Tim: "A brain dead right wingnut wrote that ACA was socialism. It appears private insurance companies competing for insures is now viewed as socialism. How dumb are these domestic terrorists."

    Keeping people dumb and desperate, so they look for scapegoats for all their problems is what the GOP wants. Faux news et al are the echo chamber that tells people to think that anything they don't like is a lie – which is why the right is so anti-science: God forbid people should use evidence and deductive reasoning to come to conclusions and act accordingly.

    November 3, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    @Gurgyl: "GOP is doomed. Practically speaking they have NO policies at all other than War., Guns."

    Only if the rest of us figth voter suppression and get out and vote. We have to keep standing up to them; they will not go away. Their motivation is greed and they've learned how to tap into people's fears and prejudices, all very powerful motivators for people lacking empathy and/or smarts.

    Get out and VOTE!

    November 3, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Gig 'em

    “What difference does it make?”

    – Hillary Clinton – 1/23/13

    The Wicked Witch will eat those words in 2016.

    November 3, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    I'll believe Christie is in good health after I see some fasting blood work (to check cholesterol levels and liver function) and the results of a stress ECG. I'm better he's got fat around some of his organs, too (not uncommon for morbidly obese people). Then there's the whole joint degradation issue; MRIs of his knees, ankles and back would be handy.

    I'm guessing he'd fail most of these tests ...

    November 3, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. Tampa Tim

    If a brain dead right wingnut would look at the congressional hearing video, and listen to the next sentence Hillary says, the entire republican campaign in 2016 is gone. They got nothing.

    November 3, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Jules

    Soon it will be time for the GOP Primary Funnies. Can't wait!

    November 3, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. Hooper

    Maybe if the people are stupid enough to elect him, there'll be new elevators for his cars at the White House. This kind of ignorance appeals to many on the right. Children going to bed hungry, and people working for substandard wages, make no never ya mind to them, but this kind of stupidity is right up their alley.

    November 3, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Fair is fair

    You want freedom go to Russia. It's dead in America!

    November 3, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Evergreen

    At least Romney agrees that the GOP needs saving. I don't know if Christi is the one.

    November 3, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. len

    Think Again,

    You are so right. We must vote in 2014....do not repeat 2012..if we do, we are doomed!

    Get the vote out....we must vote!

    November 3, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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