NJ Gov. Chris Christie’s Debate Advice to Mitt Romney: ‘Be Yourself’

NASHUA, N.H. – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stumped for Mitt Romney Wednesday in New Hampshire and even called him while he was preparing for this evening’s CNBC debate in Michigan.

At Romney’s New Hampshire headquarters, Christie told a crowd of supporters phone banking for Romney that the former Massachusetts governor seemed “relaxed and ready” for the debate and added he had asked him for some advice for tonight’s debate.

“My advice from now until next November, and then the next four years, that is very simple: Be yourself, be yourself,” Christie said.

In the short phone call, he called Romney both “buddy” and “pal,” and said his friend can beat President Obama, who he called an “absentee president.”

“Mitt is ready for the fight,” Christie told the volunteers in the same headquarters Romney used four years ago. “You should know I thought long and hard about what to do, and I knew that I wanted to be with Mitt Romney. The more I thought about it, the more I knew he was right person for the job and the only person who can beat this president.”

Christie promised to be back in the Granite State, but added he will be going to other early states for Romney as well.

“I’m going to Iowa for him. I’m going to Florida for him later this month. Iowa in December and I’ll be back in New Hampshire in December and January. He hasn’t asked yet, because he’s being polite,” Christie said. “I’ll be back.”

Christie made a second stop at a house party in Nashua, N.H., where he showed off the blunt style he’s made famous in New Jersey, calling Obama “pessimistic about our country.”

He also seemed to take a veiled swipe at former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain while telling the crowd about Romney’s attributes of being both a governor and businessman.

“He’s been a governor and used the executive power in the governmental setting. It’s different than using it in the private sector setting. You need to know how to do that. I think it’s great to have CEO experience, but CEOs order and things get done. But governors have to use that special ‘warm and charm,’” Christie said, using the last words sarcastically, referencing the battles he’s had with the New Jersey state legislature.

He said Romney has an “optimistic view” of the country and compared Obama to former President Jimmy Carter.

 ”The president is the first in my opinion since Jimmy Carter to be as pessimistic as he is about our country,” Christie said. “He’s not saying it, not only because he believes it, but because it’s his re-election strategy to divide our country to put people against each other.”

Christie also described the meeting he had with Romney and his wife, Ann Romney, when he decided to endorse Romney, saying they spoke for about 2 ½ hours after lunch.

After the chat Romney said to Christie, “I would like to figure out a way to bring you on board.”

Christie immediately replied, “I’m in.”

The New Jersey governor said Romney “looked a little stunned,” and asked, “You’re in?”

Christie replied, “I’m in because I absolutely believe you are the best man to be president of the United States right now.”

Christie is headed back to New Jersey late tonight, he told the crowd, because the state legislature is back in session Thursday.

“There needs to be adult supervision,” Christie said to laughs from the crowd.

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