Mitt Romney didn’t ask Chris Christie to be his candidate for vice president in his 2012 bid for the White House because of ‘potential landmines’ in his health and background checks, it emerged today.
According to a new book, the New Jersey governor failed to fully answer questions about his health and background and provided less information to Romney’s vetters than other potential candidates.
The book, Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, also reveals Romney poked fun at Christie’s size. ‘Romney marveled at Christie’s girth,’ according to the book. ‘Watching a video of Christie without his suit jacket on, Romney cackled to his aides “guys! Look at that”‘.
Romney’s search for a vice-presidential nominee was codenamed ‘Project goldfish’, but Christie was given the name ‘Pufferfish’.
In response to the revelations, an aide to Christie said: ‘Governor Christie complied fully with the Romney campaign’s request for documents in a timely manner, including a complete medical report from his internist and cardiologist.’
Christie, who underwent lap band surgery in February to help him lose weight, recently released a report from his doctor that said he ‘has no medical limitations and is fit to serve as the governor’.
The book also reveals that President Obama’s aides considered switching Joe Biden out for Hillary Clinton as his VP.
The authors explain that Christie, who is widely seen as a top candidate among Republicans for 2016, left unanswered questions about a defamation lawsuit that was brought against him earlier in his career – putting off Romney further.