Mitt Romney says New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie "stands out as one of the very strongest lights" in the field of possible Republicans presidential contenders for 2016.
"Chris could easily become our nominee and save our party and help get this nation on the right track again," Romney said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "They don't come any better than Chris Christie."
Romney also disputed claims in the new book, "Double Down: Game Change 2012," which say he didn't consider Christie as a running mate for fear he was too overweight and wasn't healthy enough.
Rather, he settled on Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan because Ryan had a complement of skills that would be helpful if he became vice president, Romney said.
"I'd been a governor. I hadn't worked in Washington," Romney said. "He'd been in Washington. He was a budget pro. And I figured his relationships in Washington, his knowledge of the budget, would be a good complement to me."
Romney didn't include tea party favorite Ted Cruz among the Republicans' most electable potential GOP presidential candidates.
When asked if Cruz, who led the GOP effort to shut down the government in an effort to dismantle Obama's health care law, is a "potential light," Romney said he's not going to disqualify anybody.
But he made clear that he had given the names of those he thought were "the most effective in becoming elected."
The 2012 GOP nominee's list of "very capable people" included Ryan, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Christie, who he named "one of the very strongest lights."
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.