New Jersey governor and Mitt Romney supporter Chris Christie called Newt Gingrich an embarrassment to the Republican Party the morning after his South Carolina primary win.
Newt Gingrich has embarrassed the party over time, Christie said on NBC's Meet the Press. Whether he'll do it again in the future I don't know, but Governor Romney never has.
Christie, who's been eyed as a potential running mate to the former Massachusetts governor, later clarified that he wasn't attacking Gingrich's character. He said he believed Gingrich was a changed person, but believes his experience in Congress doesn't make him fit for president.
He was run out of his speakership by his own party, he was fined $300,000 for ethics violations, said Christie, later saying, the Speaker has never run anything.
Gingrich, who swept the competition in the South Carolina primary Saturday night with a 13-point lead over Romney, has defended that he was a principled rebel fighting for positive change in a corrupt Washington. He and his supporters have also lambasted the media for attacking his character.
The governor said Romney would still come ahead in Florida on Jan. 31 despite Gingrich's victory in the Pametto State over the weekend. You know, I'm not going to try to say [Saturday] night was good news for the Romney campaign. We had a bad week as a campaign, and a bad result [Saturday] night, Christie said. So, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and you get to Florida and fight. I still believe that Governor Romney's going to win in Florida on the 31st, and then return to Florida in August as the Republican nominee.
In a response to a question about Romney's lackluster performances in recent debates and concern over his ability to connect with voters, Christie called his GOP pick a very reserved guy.
Everyone can have success in politics with different personalities and every candidate ... has liabilities, Christie said of Romney.
Romney gained Christie's esteemed endorsement after an unsuccessful but ardent campaign by GOP bigwigs to get the New Jersey governor to join the race. Christies had said he wasn't ready for run, citing his commitment to completing his term at the Garden State and to his family.
Christie has also been eyed as a potential running made for Romney.