The Real Reason Mitt Romney Rejected Chris ‘Pufferfish’ Christie As VP

What exactly does Mitt Romney have against puffer fish? What did they ever do to him to make him hate them so?

It’s been reported that the reason former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) did not select New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as his running mate during his failed 2012 Presidential bid is because of Christie’s health issues; namely, his weight. The issues with Christie’s health and weight are referred to as ‘potential landmines’ in the new book from Mark Halperin and John Heilemann entitled Double Down: Game Change 2012. Furthermore, the book alleges that Romney ‘marveled at Christie’s girth’ and even laughed with his aides while watching a video featuring Christie saying to them, “guys! Look at that.”

Cute. Nothing says able-minded, presidential adult quite like pointing and laughing at the chubby guy. If this author isn’t mistaken it’s actually a prerequisite to running for U.S. President. Wanna’ know how grown up Romney is? His search for a running mate was dubbed ‘Project Goldfish’ so of course he found it befitting to call Christie a ‘puffer fish’.

But was Christie’s health the real issue? There are two theories out there that offer alternative explanations:

1) Chris Christie’s Popularity Would Overshadow Mitt Romney’s
While no one can argue that Romney was a disaster as Governor of Massachusetts, he wasn’t a success either. During his run as Governor the high unemployment and low job growth that he was confronted with was indeed reversed; albeit, with much slower results than the rest of the country was doing it at the same time. This left Mass. ranked 47th in job creation. When Politifact talked to President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation Michael Widmer he said:

Jobs grew, but they grew at an anemic rate compared to the rest of the country.

Andrew Sum, Director of the Center For Market Studies at Northeastern University, added in an interview with the Boston Globe:

That time period was a very weak time period for the state. I’m not blaming everything on (Romney), but he didn’t turn anything around.

So at least as far as the economy is concerned Romney may not have been a failure, but he wasn’t a blow-away success by any stretch of imagination either.

Looking at Chris Christie on the other hand, his approval rating has remained high even after the disaster that was Hurricane Sandy. In fact, his popularity actually surged after Sandy and continues to remain strong due in part to his response to the crisis and general popularity even among Democrats. That’s a lot of clout for a conservative Republican official.

2) He’s A Lot More Moderate Than He Lets On
Humor the author if you will. Yes, Governor Christie maintains that the reason he dropped his appeal against gay marriage in his state was – according to Christie administration spokesperson Colin Reed – because:

The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Now, this is only a theory, but what if the real reason Christie dropped his appeal is because he refuses to appease the Tea Party Republican backers on yet another issue? Plus, as mentioned, Christie remains popular among Democrats. Could his popular image among the so-called ‘enemy’ have hampered a Romney-Christie ticket?

I sure think so.

In the history books, though, the reason given was ‘health’ and that would have been just fine. It really would have been. Unfortunately, Romney had to go the high school jock route. Fair enough, though; because, in the end Romney lost the election. In…his…face!

Edited/Published by: SB

I'm Jonathan Lenhardt; fiscally conservative, socially liberal Republican. I'm pro-choice, pro-2nd Amendment, anti-Tea Party, and happily atheist just to name a sparse few things about me. You can direct all hate mail to [email protected]. Also, you can find me on Google+, Twitter (@JonLenTheLC), and I have an L.C.-specific Facebook page (Jonathan Lenhardt, The Liberal Conservative).