December 01, 2011 at 11:39 am
With Newt Gingrich’s popularity growing in Florida, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came to South Florida today to campaign for Mitt Romney and dismissed the former House speaker as the “newest flavor of the two weeks.” Speaking to FLDemocracy after headlining a fundraiser for Romney in West Palm Beach, Christie hit into Gingrich’s experience, noting that, unlike Romney, “Gingrich has never run anything.”
Asked to compare his candidate and Gingrich, Christie noted that Romney has “executive” experience. “Speaker Gingrich has never run anything. And he’s been a legislator. I have to tell you– I don’t think being a legislator is the best calling card. Look at the guy we have in the White House now: he never ran anything and was a legislator.”
Christie seemed unconcerned about new polling in the state showing Gingrich with a considerable lead. “These Gingrich poll numbers are as solid as the Cain numbers were, as solid as the Perry numbers were, as solid as the Bachmann numbers were.”
Notoriously blunt and unscripted with media, Christie is the very antithesis of the highly polished, on-message Romney. Still, he said the two are developing a close relationship and they exchanged e-mails last night. He said he gives Romney advice when he can.
Christie, who endorsed Romney in October after declining to seek the nomination himself, said he couldn’t imagine being tapped to be VP, saying his “personality doesn’t ooze number two.” However, Christie also didn’t shut the door on the idea of joining the ticket. “If it is offered, I’d make the decision I thought was best for me and my family and the country,” he said before adding: “I can not imagine it happening. I think someone else will be running with Governor Romney. Not me.”
In addition to traveling to Iowa on December 7, Christie said he’ll headline a New Jersey fundraiser for Romney next week.
Christie’s swing through South Florida offers the latest sign that Romney is ramping up his efforts in the state. Romney spent Tuesday in Florida picking up endorsements from three top Cuban-American Republicans, attending several fundraisers, and delivering speeches in Miami and Tampa.