Mitt Romney: Christie's A Leader, Not a Bully

Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014 06:03 PM

By Greg Richter

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Mitt Romney insists New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was no bully for not allowing him to raise money in New Jersey early in his 2012 presidential run.

"Chris wanted to make sure that if we were going to come into his state and raise money that he had something to say about it, and who we'd raise money from and so forth," Romney said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

Cavuto asked why that should matter.

"My guess is, Chris wanted to have the kind of political leadership in his state that made sure he had clout in deciding who our nominee might be …" Romney replied.

To which Cavuto asked: Wasn't that "bullyesque"?

"No," Romney replied, "I considered it being kind of a strong LBJ leadership style."

The 2012 GOP presidential nominee told Cavuto he didn't think the action fed into the media narrative of a vindictive and Christie, who Romney described more as someone who can bring the GOP together.

He said he doesn't think Christie knew anything about the bridge-gate scandal that has rocked his office and hurt his poll numbers. Before news broke in early January that some of Christie's aides orchestrated four days of traffic snarls on the George Washington Bridge as political payback, the governor was seen as the Republican frontrunner for president in 2016.

Romney also said he will not endorse anyone for the 2016 presidential election until the primary season is over. But Cavuto noted that a list of possible candidates Romney mentioned left out tea party favorites Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

"They represent different parts of the party," Romney said, adding that the nominee should be someone who can bring together the broadest parts of the GOP.

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