Is Chris Christie the VP Mitt Romney Needs?

Chris Christie Mitt Romney
Julian Sullivan | Getty Images
Chris Christie Mitt Romney

Is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie precisely who presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney needs to defeat a sitting president?

Christie, who has repeatedly denied he wanted the be considered for the vice-presidential spot on the Republican ticket, sounded open to the possibility this week.

“He might be able to convince me. He’s a convincing guy,” Christie said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The comment set off a heated debate on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” on Wednesday.

“When you’re talking about the No. 2 spot, you’re talking about some different criteria. I think there’s reason for the Romney people to be very hesitant about putting a guy like Christie on the ticket,” said Salon.com political writer Steve Kornacki.

“The two things that come to mind, are: One, he’s got such a strong personality, he’s so charismatic, he could overshadow Romney, who you know has that reputation for being a bit dull, a bit wooden, a bit stiff,” he said.

The other issue with Christie is that he’s a bit “erratic,” Kornacki added.

In January, amid a dust-up over whether Romney would release his tax returns, Christie told the “Today” show that the former Massachusetts governor should ante up.

Robert Costa of the National Review backed Christie for veep.

“You have to have a bulldog in there. You have to bring your best players on to your team, not worry about the overshadow problem,” he said.

Costa offered a historical perspective for selecting a someone different from the presidential candidate.

“Look at 1968, when Richard Nixon tapped Spiro Agnew, then a rookie governor in Maryland, brought a lot of bulldog, nattering, nabobs and negativity, slamming the Left,” he said. “I think Chris Christie could play that similar role for Mitt Romney. Different characteristics, different personalities, but together a strong ticket, and you’ve got to be looking for strength when going up against Barack Obama.”

Kornacki noted that Christie’s standing in his native New Jersey — a blue state — was good, but not great.

Costa said that could work in his favor.

“We all know Chris Christie has a tough persona. He’s a tough guy,” he said. “But if you look at his record, he’s bipartisan, and he’s even supportive of Bowles-Simpson. He wants to broker a deal to get rid of this deficit.”

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