Rick Santorum says his 2008 comments that “Satan has set his sights on the United States of America” are “not relevant” to the 2012 presidential race, but Chris Christie told me on “GMA” that Santorum is wrong.
“Listen, I think anything you say as a presidential candidate is relevant. It is by definition relevant. You’re asking to be president of the United States. I don’t think [Santorum's] right about that. I think it is relevant what he says. I think people want to make an evaluation, a complete evaluation of anyone who asks to sit in the Oval Office,” the New Jersey governor said.
But Christie doesn’t think a debate over religion is a conversation the Republican Party wants to engage in.
“Do I think it’s the things we should be as a party talking about and emphasizing at the moment? No,” he said.
“I think the idea of the fighting against religion piece of this goes to more to Obamacare issue and the invasion of Obamacare into maybe some religious freedom issues. I think that’s an interesting conversation and an important one to have in the context of overall Obamacare and what’s that going to mean for the country if it goes forward after the Supreme Court arguments this spring,” he said.
Christie – an outspoken supporter for the former Massachusetts governor – partly blamed Romney’s lack of traction on the Republicans changing the rules from winner takes all to awarding delegates on a proportional basis.
And in his blunt style, Christie outright said Republicans are still asking him to enter the 2012 race, as Politico first reported.
“What I say back to them is I’m supporting Mitt Romney and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he wins the nomination and is going to become president come January 2013,” he said.
“I don’t know how many times I have to say it. The answer is no,” he told me.
Christie is confident that Romney will be the Republican nominee, saying he’ll wrap it up by April, and he isn’t worried about today’s AP poll that shows Romney trailing Obama by 8 points in a head-to-head match-up.
“You’ll see it tighten up again because then people say, ‘Okay, now I’m comparing Mitt Romney to the president,’ and I think you’ll see it tighten again, we’ve seen this in political races before,” he said. “I’m not dreadfully worried about that part of it but I do think it should remind us as a party we should have never changed the rules because what we’re doing now is creating ourselves problems we didn’t need.”
Watch my interview here: