Full Transcript of Chris Christie Interview: What Would the Governor's Answer Be If Romney Asked Him to Serve as Vice President?
Gov. Chris Christie appeared on Fox and Friends Thursday morning and reacted to breaking news of Perry's exit from the GOP presidential nomination race, as well as reports that Rick Santorum in fact beat Christie-endorsed Mitt Romney in the Iowa Caucuses.
Plus, what would Christie's answer be if Romney were to win the nomination and ask the New Jersey governor to serve as his V.P.? Read the full transcript of the interview
Steve: It's a tie. Chris Christie, who is working with the Romney campaign joins us live. What does this change?
Steve: Okay, thank you very much.
Christie: I mean, absolutely nothing. We'll never know who exactly won that race, especially with eight precincts not ever reporting. Why that is, they eat the ballots? I don't know what happened. The fact is, Governor Romney got the momentum coming out of Iowa as the winner. Capitalized by winning New Hampshire by a comfortable margin and I think he'll do very well on Saturday in South Carolina. So, I don't think it really matters and that will be for the historic books to who actually won. In the end, they'll be writing about it in the context did
President Romney win Iowa the first time? I don't think anybody will care.
Brian: I think it's an embarrassment to the Republican party of Iowa. Come on! You can't count the ballots? It's so bad that they're giving up in eight precincts?
Christie: I don't understand it. I have to tell you the truth. People expect when they go, especially to a caucus site, that your vote will be counted. I think that's disappointing. But listen, at the educational -- at the end of the day, I don't think it matters. But we knew that night, even with the eight-vote margin.
Christie: It was virtually a tie and I was happy -- I teased Governor Romney, called him after winning by eight votes. He had great sense of humor
about it. He's on to South Carolina to try to make sure that he does the best he can there.
Gretchen: I hope he has sense of humor about some of the other things that you have said because it's caught the attention of the media and regular old americans as well, too, that you have come out and said some things that may be don't completely align with Mitt Romney. Like you said, you wish he had a more charismatic personality. Yesterday you said that yeah, he should probably release his tax returns right now even though he's not going to release them 'til April 15. Do you get calls from the Romney campaign after you say those things?
Christie: I don't, because I think they understand I'm going to say what I really think. I say that to him privately and publicly. What I said about his personality was that -- that was on Oprah, she said what's his biggest weakness? And I said at times he can't convey the passion he feels. I don't think that's a news flash to anybody. I think he understands that himself that at times that's been a criticism but in the end, I also said he's the most prepared, most qualified man on the stage to be President of the United States. On the tax return issue, I was telling folks what my practice has been. I reloosed my tax returns before I ran for governor for a number of years, before I actually announced my candidacy and released them every year to the press on the day that I filed them.
Steve: Speaking of Oprah Winfrey, we saw that apparently you start your day with "Fox & Friends." It was right on there. Thank you.
Christie: Do the best we can.
Brian: You're a smart man.
Steve: Speaking of income tax, he said a couple of days ago, yeah, I'm probably paying 15 percent. Doesn't that kind of feed into the whole, look, he's a rich guy and he's skating around the rules?
Christie: He's not skating around the rules. He's following the rules.
Steve: He is. But the secretary is paying 30 percent.
Christie: That's because we tax income at a higher rate than investment income. The fact of the matter is, everybody knows that mitt romney
hasn't had an income-producing job for the last number of years. He's been campaigning for president of the united states. So we know that he's been supporting himself off of the investment income that he gets from his wealth. Also no shock that Mitt Romney has great personal wealth. He financed a large part of his campaign four years ago himself. So nobody should be surprised about that. In the end, I don't think it will be a big issue. That's why I'm an advocate for releasing tax returns and you get it out there and can talk about creating jobs. The president failed three years. Our image around the world deteriorated. That's what we need to talk about.
Brian: You know politic as well as anybody. You notify what you would do and you also know what the right move would be. He's rich, made $250 million. Most people can't relate to that, but they respect it. The fact that the money is in the Cayman Islands and he hasn't come out and defended himself and his success. Why isn't he more proud of success? His dad had more money, but didn't have $250 million in ten years.
Christie: Listen, I think he's talked about how what he would like for the American people is everybody to have the opportunities that he's had to be able to become wealthy. I don't think he's been quiet about his pride in how much money he's made and how successful he's been over time. I think his campaign is based on the fact that he had success in the private sector and we need somebody who understands that the private sector creates jobs. I think he's been proud of that and in the end, he's not a braggart either. I think one of the things to know about him is he's a humble guy. So I think there is a difference between kind of puffing your chest out on stuff like that and just saying listen, I'd like everybody to have the opportunity that I've had as an American. I think that's what he's really saying.
Gretchen: That's an interesting analysis. By the way, the Romney campaign has denied the Cayman Island report.
Brian: The money is there, but they say they're paying the same rate in the Cayman as in America.
Gretchen: Here is my question, does the Romney campaign come to you and say, help us strategize to win this election?
Christie: I have conversations with Governor Romney, not with the campaign, but with Governor Romney on a regular basis about the campaign. Those conversations are between me and Governor Romney in terms of what we talk about. But we have a very good personal relationship and we speak frequently.
Gretchen: Do you agree with the negative ads that he has put out? Is that something that you would agree with in the way in which you would run a campaign?
Christie: As long as they're fair, it's part of every campaign. It's part of every campaign that you not only talk about yourself, but you have to
distinguish yourself from your opponents. I thought the things that Speaker Gingrich did was awful because what he's saying about Bain Capital isn't true. He's trying to characterize it in a way and attack the capitalist system in a way that's wrong. But in the end, let's see -- what did he say about Speaker Gingrich in Iowa? He got run out by his own party. That's true. He got fined $300,000 for ethics violations. That's true. He got paid a million six from Freddie Mac as a lobbyist. That's true. So I mean, the speaker may not like it, but the fact of the matter is, every one of those facts is true. That's the difference.
Steve: One other thing is the speaker had a really good debate a couple of days ago. There is another debate tonight. If Mitt Romney were watching right now, what would your advice be to him?
Christie: My advice to give to Mitt Romney [will be] on the phone with me and Mitt Romney. All --
Steve: No, listen, we won't listen in.
Christie: I will tell you, I think Governor Romney will do a good job tonight. I think he's won the overall majority of these debates. I think the speaker had a good debate the other night. No denying he did a good job. The fact is Governor Romney has won I'd say 90 percent of these debates over the course of time. It's a lot of debates to have won.
Brian: One of the reasons you're so vital on the campaign trail is you're so successful in New Jersey. We're talking about a New Jersey comeback now. Where are we at, in terms of adding jobs and getting your fiscal house in order?
Christie: We've added over 60,000 new private sector jobs since I've been governor. Remember, the year before I became governor we lost 117,000 jobs in that year. So 60,000 new private sector jobs. Unemployment down is a point since I've been governor. And now we're in a position, after making some of the really tough decisions we've made fiscally, to be able to cut taxes. That's a proposal I made in my State of the State address on Tuesday and I think everybody in New Jersey, I mean everybody, should get a 10 percent tax cut phased in over the next few years.
Steve: Thank you. As somebody who lives in New Jersey, thank you very much. We have a snippet of your statement. Here it is.
"Christie: While Washington politicians in both parties fiddle. America's position of strength and leadership around the world deteriorates while our leaders bicker and blame. Over the last two years, new jersey did the exact opposite. We achieved results because we did it together. "
Gretchen: This is one of the main reasons why all the republican candidates wanted your endorsement and you came out relatively early and gave it to mitt romney. Let me ask you this, though, when you stand up on the stage with him, we've had analysts who
say, that reminds the american public that maybe they really want chris christie to have been running for president and not necessarily mitt romney. Will you add value to his ticket as the vice president nominee?
Christie: First of all, I don't think I'm going to be asked.
Christie: I just don't think I have the personality.
Steve: You can't work for somebody?
Christie: I don't think I have the personality to be vice president. I think certain people are good at being number two and certain people are better at being number one. And I love being governor of new jersey and I think it's a great job, and I get to say and do exactly what I want, and I'm my own boss. I think it would be very difficult to operate under that circumstance of being number two. By saying that, it's also an extraordinarily important job. And so my view is, I don't expect to be asked. If I am asked, I will certainly sit and talk to Governor Romney about it and listen. But if you're a betting guy, and I know he is, I would bet on me being governor of New Jersey.
Steve: Off track betting, though.
Brian: Thanks very much. Finally, now you're seeing the presidential campaign up close and personal. You knew kind of what was going on of the now that you've seen it, does this make you more or less likely to get into it in future?
Christie: I've gone near it. But what i say to people is it's great to campaign when your name is not on the ballot. The pressure is really low. It just is. So i don't think i have an idea of what it's like to run for president any more now than i did beforement when you're helping somebody, you go in, you help them, you leave. He's still left back in south carolina grinding away every day. So you know what? Here is what i think, i think he's going to be a really good president and elected in november and our country will be better off for it.
Brian: That's the new york giants, by the way