New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came to the defense of Mitt Romney Friday morning, calling him a "good man" who is still "a little raw" with disappointment over his loss to President Barack Obama.
But at the same time Christie said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Romney was wrong to tell a group of top campaign donors Wednesday that Obama won re-election because of "gifts" he gave in the form of government programs to young and Hispanic voters.
He said Romney lost for one simple reason — Obama got more votes.
"I think this is kind of scapegoating after the election. . . When you lose, you lost," Christie said.
But he added, referring directly to Romney's "gifts" comment, "You can't expect to be a leader of all the people and be divisive."
Christie agreed that it was "a terrible thing," as host Joe Scarborough put it, for Romney to say. But he suggested the GOP nominee was still feeling upset by the election loss and may not have been thinking clearly.
"I'm sure it stings. But he's a good man and he will find his level," Christie said.
In the meantime, Christie said Republicans who still hold office need "to pivot and move on" past the presidential election loss and get on with the business of representing their constituencies.
He said he believes the real leaders of the Republican Party at the moment are the 30 GOP governors across the country, given the party's loss of Senate and House seats as well as the presidency.
"We're getting things done for people and that's what we have to emphasize and talk about," he said. "I don't think this is a core, philosophical examination we have to go through. What this is about is doing our jobs. And people expect that."
"The bottom line is we lost," Christie added. "So now what we need to do, as leaders of our party, is pivot and get back to our jobs. And if we do our jobs well people will put us back into office, and if we don't they won't."
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