Christie defers to Romney as veepstakes heats up - My9 New Jersey

Christie defers to Romney as veepstakes heats up

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ANGELA DELLI SANTI,Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — On a day of renewed chatter over whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie might still be on Mitt Romney's vice presidential short list as the announcement of a running mate draws near, Christie was saying little.

Christie wouldn't say Tuesday whether he'd been vetted for the No. 2 job and said it's up to the former Massachusetts governor to make announcements about candidates and keynote speakers at the Republican National Convention. Christie has been reported to be in the running for both spots.

"Two weeks ago I was definitely going to be the keynote speaker. Now this morning I'm going to be the vice president," Christie said at an afternoon news conference in Trenton after signing a law that enhances crime victims' rights. "Tomorrow, I may be nothing. Who knows?"

Christie flies to California to raise money for Romney on Wednesday and Thursday before heading up the coast to campaign for other candidates in Seattle and Vancouver, Wash. He returns to New Jersey on Friday; his schedule for next week has not been released.

Speculation had all but died out about the brash first-term governor being picked to join the Republican ticket. But when Christie's name wasn't on the list of seven GOP convention speakers the campaign announced Monday, a new round of what-if's began.

"All this speculation occurs because Gov. Romney is taking his time and being deliberative," Christie said.

Prognosticators could also point to another sign: GOP political operative Mike DuHaime, a trusted Christie friend and adviser, has hopped over to the Republican National Committee to work as a consultant through November, according to Politico. DuHaime helped get Christie elected in 2009, when he scored an upset win over Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine.

Asked what — if anything — could be read into DuHaime's move to the RNC, Christie replied, "Nothing. I think what the Romney campaign is doing is assembling as much political talent as they can because they're going to need it."

While Christie may not be fueling the latest round of speculation directly, he's been aided by those who know him best.

His brother, Todd, a fellow delegate to the upcoming GOP National Convention, shared a Los Angeles Times article via Facebook on Tuesday that features Christie as a possible running mate. Also Tuesday, a Christie friend from college distributed a press release offering commentary on the governor's political future.

Christie said Tuesday that he hadn't approved the release, and described friend Rick Mroz as being relegated to "the penalty box" for having made the offer to the press.

"He has no business talking about my future because I haven't talked about my future with him," Christie said of Mroz, chief counsel to former Republican Gov. Christie Whitman.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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