“I'll be like gum on the bottom of your shoe,” the New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate, who was already back in New Hampshire as Iowans were voting Monday night, jokingly told Granite State voters today.
Finishing in last place in Iowa among all the governor candidates -- Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Mike Huckabee -- on Monday night, Christie sought this morning to brush off the previous expectations he had set for himself.
“No one ever thought, nor did I ever say that I was going to do very well in Iowa," he told reporters today. "I'm a realist and that’s why I never looked you in the eye and said, ‘Oh, watch out, big surprise in Iowa.’”
While New Hampshire has been the primary focus of the New Jersey governor’s campaign efforts, he made a late play for Iowa – roughly splitting his time between the first two voting states – over the past month.
And though Bush finished ahead of him in Iowa, Christie sought to make the case that the caucus results were a greater relative loss for Bush, who invested heavily in the state.
“He spent $15 million and got about 1,800 more votes than me,” Christie said.
Actually, Bush received 5,238 votes, or 2.8 percent, compared to his 3,284, or 1.8 percent, finish, a 1,954 vote difference.
“If there’s depression in the land, I’m sure it’s over there,” he said of Bush’s campaign, “because you spend $15 million compared to $500,000; that’s a lot of times more than what we spent for 1,800 more votes.”
Declaring Iowa “in the rearview mirror,” Christie says he has a feeling that New Hampshire will be different.
“People ask me all the time, ‘How does it feel in Iowa,’ and I’d say, ‘I have no idea,’” Christie said. “That’s not here [in New Hampshire]. Here, I’ve had a feel all along that I’ve connected with people.”
He also said he has "institutional advantages" in the Granite State that he did not have in Iowa, including the endorsements of the New Hampshire Union-Leader and the Boston Herald newspapers.
"That’s going to make a huge difference, too, when people decide who’s got the credibility to win this race,” he said. “So we’ve got a lot of institutional advantages here that we just never had in Iowa.”