Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made the rounds on the Sunday morning talk show circuit last week to predict that Wednesday night’s debate would turn the race “upside-down.”
By Thursday morning it appeared that Christie had been correct and, in a brief appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, he explained that his prediction was based on Mitt Romney’s past comeback performances.
“I just don’t think anybody else was paying attention,” Christie said. “I mean, every time in this campaign that Mitt Romney had his back up against the wall and then had a debate, he came out and had a game-changing debate. Ask Rick Perry, ask Newt Gingrich. Every time he’s done it. And so on Sunday, I just came out and said exactly what I believed, which was I’ve seen this guy do this before. And I think he’s going to do it again. And he did last night.”
Christie added that he had doubted Romney’s opponent, President Barack Obama, was prepared for Romney’s attack plan.
“I think at the end of the day, Gov. Romney came out, and he seized the argument on the substance,” Christie said. “I’ve heard all kinds of complaints about Gov. Romney. I think he last night came out and said, ‘Here’s where I want to take America. Here’s my vision.’ And I don’t think the president was ready to answer that.”
“And you could tell he wasn’t ready to answer it,” Christie continued. “And I think that’s because, again, when you have no record to run on, it’s very difficult as the incumbent to then come out there and combat what Gov. Romney did last night. I thought the president had no energy. It didn’t look like he wanted to engage Gov. Romney. And the fact of the matter is, you know, you can’t beat the champ on points. Mitt Romney hit a knockout last night.”
Romney’s performance was something Christie said that even dated back to his tenure as governor of Massachusetts.
“I have confidence in this guy,” Christie said. “I mean, you know, I’ve been with him since last October. And like I said, this was no crystal ball moment. I watched him over the last year and a quarter. And every time his back has been against the wall, really against the wall, and it was last night, the guy has come out with a great debate performance. And then you heard Mike [Barnicle] this morning saying that the same kind of thing happened up in Massachusetts. Look at the guy’s history. This guy hasn’t been as successful as he’s been in everything in his life by not being competitive and being a winner. And that’s what he’s done.”