New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said his hug with President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy did not hurt Mitt Romney in his quest for the Oval Office.
“No, and the best source for that information is not me. It’s Mitt Romney. And I have seen him, publicly say over and over again, that it had absolutely no effect on the race, either subjectively for the way he felt or objectively in terms of what they’re polls will reflect at that time. So, the answer is no,” Christie told Fox.
“Secondly, the other thing that Mitt Romney said to me at that time was you’re doing your job. Go do your job as best as you can. I’ve had that job.”
Christie said he would remind voters who might hold a grudge that there wasn’t “one person with the possible exception of Paul Ryan in America who worked harder for Mitt Romney.”
“I was the first governor to come out and endorsed him in the fall of 2011. I traveled to 26 states for him. And right up until the day of Hurricane Sandy, in fact that Friday before hurricane Sandy, I was in North Carolina campaigning and raising money for Mitt Romney,” he said. “So, some people have — who are you referring to, have a very short memory. Fortunately, Mitt Romney doesn’t and the fair people don’t. When that crisis hit, I was asked has the president have been responsive? Has the president been there to help the people? And my answer is yes.”
Christie was asked to give his top three names for the GOP nomination in 2016.
“I don’t know if I can restrict myself to three. But I can give you the ones that I can think of that are really good. I think Jeb Bush would be an outstanding candidate for president. I think Scott Walker would be a really good candidate for president. I think Paul Ryan would be a really good candidate for president,” he said.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) would be “a credible candidate for president,” Christie continued. “I think Marco Rubio would be a good candidate for president.”
“I intend to campaign for whoever Republican nominee is because I’m a Republican. Whatever differences I may have with any one of those people that I just named myself because there were differences between me and those folks, it would be minor compared to the differences I would have with whoever the Democratic nominee is. Listen, if Mitt Romney wanted to run again, I would be totally up to him. I don’t think he will.”
On his own potential candidacy? “We’ll see.”
“I think I’m older and more experienced and it is certainly something that I said to everybody that I consider,” he said. “…And you know what? If you don’t have baggage, they will create baggage for you. That’s politics in America today, that’s the way it goes. In the end, you know what? People don’t judge you on that kind of stuff. People look into your eyes and they try to decide what is in here. And that is how they vote. They vote for what they believe is in your heart. And can they trust you? Do you care about them and understand them? Will you be the type of person that they will be proud of sitting in that office?”