Report: Gov. Christie Was Romney’s First VP Pick

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 3 2012 12:49 PM

Report: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Was Romney’s First VP Choice

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks in Mount Vernon, Ohio last month. Christie's supporters say he could have helped Romney win over working-class voters

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

It’s almost over, which obviously means more insider information is starting to leak from the campaigns. The latest tantalizing tidbit comes from Politico’s Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, who write that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was Mitt Romney’s first choice for running mate. That now raises questions about whether Christie’s recent effort to go out of his way to praise President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy was at least in part an effort to settle scores. But, of course, that’s all just speculation. What we do know, according to Politico, is that Christie and his supporters are none too happy about how it all went down.

Christie and Paul Ryan “are about as opposite as two Republicans could be,” illustrating just how conflicted Romney was about his pick until the very end. And while some in the campaign thought Christie had already been offered the job, Romney seems to have changed his mind during the trip overseas that began with the London Olympics. So, what sunk Christie? Tardiness and ego. Not only did he often mess up campaign schedules by arriving late, he also was a bit too obsessed with talking about Christie rather than Romney.

Some Christie supporters insist Romney should have given Christie an early heads up that he had changed his mind, rather than leaving him hanging for more than week. Since then, Christie’s attitude has angered some Romney insiders, particularly his convention speech and the way in which he seems to have embraced Obama after the hurricane.

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“If Romney wins, it won’t be forgotten,” an adviser tells Politico. “If Romney loses, it doesn’t matter.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.