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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'][twitter-follow screen_name='gregclarycnn'][twitter-follow screen_name='jhseher']

"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. len

    Mistake, do not repeat 2010!

    November 3, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. Winston Smith

    If this hiccup in the evolution of man wants to impress people, he'd be best served by going somewhere nice and quiet and adding to the surroundings by be quiet himself. People with his ostentatious mindset bore me.

    November 3, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. just me

    He gave everything he could possibly give? Does " tax returns " ring a bell?

    November 3, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @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.

    Rick, you have it wrong. It isn't the Dems who are changing voting laws making it harder to vote. It isn't the Dems who have been accused of tampering with voting machines and software, (Diebold) and it wasn't the Dems who orchestrated that Florida nightmare that put Bush in office. Let's be honest now.

    November 3, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Gregware

    Republicans don't even care what Romney thinks, why would you expect sensible people to? And as has been recently reported, it wasn't Christie's weight that excluded him from the VP nod, he had some serious vetting issues, and those won't be going away any time soon.

    November 3, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Thomas

    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.


    When you are summoned for Jury duty , to tell them what meds your on ?

    Voter Fraud , where is your proof , once again you can't make up your own facts Rick !

    Why would you as an American falsely accuse another American with out facts to make your case ?

    November 3, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  7. Bubba

    Romney / Palin 2016. ....... Hillary is going to like being President.

    November 3, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. Obamafixesthings

    Note: Romney didn't say he ran because he thought he was the best person to lead the country. No, he ran because he thought he was the best person to beat President Obama.

    November 3, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. pbcalif

    Romney will never recover from losing the election. I would be he sits by the window all day looking out at the ocean.

    November 3, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. marc

    Cruz-Palin....the dream ticket for 2016. They'll get all the white trash vote, but it'll be the dream ticket...for Dems.

    November 3, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  11. rs

    The GOP is in trouble- it isn't insurmountable, but got now it is pretty grim:
    1. a 22% approval rate is hard to overlook
    2. The GOP is trying hard to make a faulty web site look worse than their attempted coup and $24 billion dollar mistake that they started JUST ONE MONTH ago
    3. Their internal civil war ranges on.... the Democrats really don't have to do much at this point- the GOP is killing itself
    4. The GOP's little shutdown was disapproved of by 78% of Americans
    5. 65% of Americans actually believe the GOP is a threat to America

    The GOP has work to do to win back the faith and trust of Americans. The problem is, they continue their quest for ever more divisive legislation; their attacks on Women's rights continue; their voter fraud initiatives are anti-democratic and in-constitutional.

    They have a long road ahead......

    November 3, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. Mark

    FDR was the nation's greatest President and he could hardly walk, so the joint thing really doesn't matter.

    Beyond that, I believe Christie doesn't have a chance because he is not the type of bat poop crazy the GOP/Tea Party wants to nominate. Cruz and Paul are...

    Despite his high numbers in the governor's race, recent polls put Hillary over him in New Jersey! Christie has a better chance than many of the others, but still a very slim chance of beating Hillary.

    November 3, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  13. Witness

    Romney was the best candidate coming out of the GOP primaries which were marred by both unusual infighting and a number of candidates who came across as zooey. He seems to be a good man, but he seriously lacks perception. The car elevator...the multimillion dollar log "cabin"...and the reluctance to show us who he is beholden to by releasing his taxes. As far as I know, nobody thinks he is a crook, but he isn't a stellar manager and his money seems to derive from privileged access, so people needed reassurance that his wealth wasn't built by questionable means, even if they were legal.

    November 4, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  14. Larry in Houston

    Hey Mitt, I hate to be a bearer of bad tidings, but I hope you keep your T.V. tuned into the Stations that are carrying the election, on Tuesday evening.....Maybe you can learn a lesson or 2, from Your Pal Christy....
    From what I understand, he's going to win by a landslide.......Maybe your Veep pick, of the al-trig 10/ calculus 10 / geometry 10, and every other mathematician out there, he can out do, and can Qualify as a controller for any company in this country, wasn't the "key".........Christy was overweight, but I know people who would have voted for you, if you would have picked a different Veep.
    As a matter of fact, here is Christy's Quote """"Christie was too polite to say this, but Republicans will actually be watching two states on Tuesday: New Jersey, where Christie will win a landslide, and Virginia, where Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli will lose badly""""
    Hello ? does anybody see something here ? ( It's like : Houston, we've got a problem)

    November 4, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  15. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Actually , who would want to run with a five time loser for public office , Romney the tax cheat who couldn't even win his home state,what ever one that is !!!!?????

    November 4, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  16. Name carl

    Christie is a bully. Romney 47%

    November 4, 2013 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  17. RomneyWho

    This man has no shame in his game . . . His campaign was a total bust, his lost was poetic justice, considering his daily lies, and still he shows up as if it was all a dream. 🙁

    November 4, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
1 2