Look who’s showing a little VP ankle:
Romney surrogate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Newt Gingrich an embarrassment to the Republican Party on Sunday, one day after the former House Speaker rode a late surge to victory in the South Carolina primary.
“I think Newt Gingrich has embarrassed the party, over time,” Christie (R), who has endorsed Romney, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Gov. Romney never has.”
When pressed on how Gingrich had embarrassed the Republican party, Christie mentioned said that Gingrich had been pressured to resign from the House of Representatives in 1998 and had been fined for House ethics violations.
“We all know the record,” Christie added. “I mean he was run out of the speakership by his own party, he was fined $300,000 for ethics violations. This is a guy that’s had a very difficult career at times and has been an embarrassment to the party.”
This is how it’s done; you do a good job being the surrogate, then when the convention rolls around, you’re on the short list. But these things must be done delicately; you can’t seem too eager to take the VP slot because then you come across as either an opportunist or a lackey.
In the same interview Christie shot down the possibility of joining Romney on the Republican presidential ticket if the former Massachusetts governor won the nomination. He said he would listen if Romney offered him the job but, as of now, he plans to stick in his current job.
Despite regularly making vice presidential —and even presidential— shortlists, Christie has shot down the possibility of running on the Republican presidential ticket in 2012.
“I absolutely believe that come November 2012 I’m going to be governor of New Jersey,” Christie said.
The last part is true because even if he’s on the ticket, he’ll still be governor unless he resigns to run. But politically, Gov. Christie would be a bad choice for Mitt Romney as his vice president. Both of them are considered to be “moderate” in the GOP, which nowadays is like being the lonely little petunia in the onion patch: neither of them are full-tilt Teabaggers, and Gov. Christie riled up the base when he defended a Muslim-American judge. They’re both from the Northeast, which is always grounds for suspicion among the True Believers, and if Mr. Romney is truly going to appeal to that crowd, he’ll need to go with someone like Mike Huckabee. Now there’s a marriage made in hell.