Chris Christie, New Jersey’s first-term Republican governor, said he’d consider a request from Mitt Romney to become his vice presidential running mate, if the former chief executive of Massachusetts were to ask.
Christie, 49, said voters in his party are “shopping around” for the best challenger to face President Barack Obama in the U.S. general election in November. His comments came in response to questions about the primary race between Romney, 64, and challengers including Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
“They’re going to come back to Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee and then he’s going to have a battle on his hands with the president this fall,” Christie told host Steve Adubato today during a “Christie on the Line” broadcast on public television and radio stations from Montclair State University.
Christie said he would consider being Romney’s running mate, if the former Bain Capital LLC chief executive asked him. The New Jerseyan has endorsed Romney and made campaign appearances on his behalf since ruling himself out of the race last year. Romney won primaries in Michigan and Arizona Feb. 28.
Christie said he doubted that running for vice president was “something I would want to do.” Still, he added, “I won’t rule it out.”
“I owe it to Governor Romney, if he were to ask me the question, to sit and listen to him as to why he thinks I would be the best person to be vice president,” Christie said. “From my perspective, if you’re a betting person, bet on me still being governor of New Jersey in January of 2013.”
Christie ended weeks of speculation by announcing that he wouldn’t run for his party’s presidential nomination Oct. 4, even after receiving offers of support from major Republican fund-raisers.
A Quinnipiac University survey of voters released yesterday found that putting Christie on the November ballot with Romney wouldn’t be enough to deliver the 11th-biggest state by population to the Republicans over Obama, a Democrat. A Romney-Christie matchup with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden gave the state to the president, 49 percent to 43 percent, according to the poll of 1,396 registered voters.