In a conference call on Wednesday, Mitt Romney blamed his electoral defeat on President Barack Obama’s re-election promises, which Romney said included “gifts” to traditional Democratic voters including minorities and young voters.
Those remarks drew the rebuke of many including Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. And in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie indicated his disapproval as well. When asked by host Joe Scarborough if Romney’s comments were “a terrible thing to say and it was said terribly,” Christie agreed, and said it was time for his party to move on.
“Yeah, sure,” Christie replied. “Listen, I think the bottom line of what the conversation was, I was in Las Vegas yesterday with the governors, and what we all said was that it’s time to pivot and move on. You know, the leaders of the Republican Party in America give you the Republican governors, and one of the reasons why you have 30 Republican governors in America and why we’re the only organization to add Republican strength — House lost members, Senate lost members, we lost the presidency. We went up from 29 to 30 Republican governors is because people see us getting things done like this. Getting things done for people. And that’s what we have to emphasize and talk about. I don’t think this is a core philosophical examination we have to go through. What this is, is about doing our jobs. And people expect that if they give you the privilege of serving. Do your job.”
Christie’s criticism did not stop there. He added that part of being a leader is uniting, not dividing people.
“You can’t expect to be a leader of all the people and be divisive, okay?” Christie said. “You have to talk about themes, policies that unite people. And play to their aspirations and their goals and their hopes for their family and their neighbors. And I always think this kind of scapegoating after elections — when you lose, you lost. Someone asked me, why did Mitt Romney lose? I said, because he got less votes than Barack Obama. That’s why. And the fact of the matter is more people in the country decided the president was the right way to go. I voted for Mitt Romney, but the bottom line is we lost. Now what weigh need to do as leaders of our party is pivot and get back to our jobs. And if we do our jobs well, people will put us back into office. And if we don’t, they won’t.”
As to what Romney should do going forward, Christie was reluctant to offer suggestions and explained the former Republican presidential nominee might still be reeling from his election loss.
“Listen, Mitt Romney is a friend of mine,” Christie said. “I understand he is very upset about having lost the election and very disappointed. I’ve never run for president. We’ve lost elections. I’ve lost elections but never for the presidency. I’m sure it stings terribly, but he’s a good man and he will find his level. And I think it’s still a little raw. So do I wish he hadn’t said those things? Of course not. But on the other hand I’m not going to bury the guy for it.”