"Face the Nation" transcript: February 26, 2012
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: No. I'm with Governor Romney. And one of the things people know about me is-- is that when I make up my mind it pretty much stays made, I mean, you know, now listen. Is there a possibility if Governor Romney were to lose Michigan for a contested election-- contested convention? Sure. That's a possibility. I still don't think it's a likelihood though. First of all, I think he's going to win Michigan. And-- and after that I think he'll continue to establish momentum but this is going to go up and down, Bob. We've seen this race. Herman Cain was a front-runner. Michele Bachmann was a front-runner, you know, they're out of the race now. Rick Perry was a front-runner. So I think, you know, we have to be patient as Republicans, take a deep breath and let this process work its way out. But I think Governor Romney could be the nominee at the end. People love to talk about contested conventions.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But let me make sure I heard what you said. You said, sure, there is a possibility that if-- if the Governor Romney loses Michigan, we might go all the way to the convention. And have a contested convention.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Sure.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Were you saying in there, if that should happen, you might rethink getting in?
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: No-- no, I didn't say that at all.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Okay.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: I just said that I'm not going to deny that that possibility exists that we could have a contested convention.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I got you.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: But I still think it's unlikely, very unlikely. And I think Governor Romney when he gets to the Tampa, the last week of August, will have a majority of the delegates and will be the nominee. And then we'll get to focus in the last sixty-seven days of the race on the President of the United States and his record. The promises from '08 and the failure to meet that promise in the four years that he's had as President. And that's what we're going to be focusing on then. A lot of this other stuff that you've been asking me about perfectly appropriate questions but I think that will be water well under the bridge by the time we get to August.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What about vice president? Does that interest you?
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: You know, not-- not really. What I'll say though to you is that if-- if Governor Romney were to come and talk to me about it, I would listen because I love my party enough and I love my country enough to listen. But I-- I love being governor of New Jersey. And, if you're a betting man, Bob, and I know you are, if you're betting, bet me on me being the governor of New Jersey into next year.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about something you've proposed in your state, a ten percent across the board tax hike. Can New Jersey really afford that right now?
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Yeah, a tax cut.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Tax cut, yeah.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: A tax cut. Yeah, we can afford it now because we've made a lot of very hard decisions the last two years. When I've been on your show before, we've talked about the significant cuts. We cut spending-- real spending, not projected growth, but real spending two years in a row in my first two budgets. And what we have seen is some economic growth return to New Jersey. And we've continued to hold the line on spending. And so this is a state, Bob, that had a hundred and fifteen tax and fee increases in eight years before I became governor. People deserve to get some of their money back. And we're doing it responsibly by the way. Ten percent phased in over three years. So we don't blow a hole in the budget. And we have a way to adjust, but imagine New Jersey, Bob, people getting their taxes lowered every year for three years? People will become disoriented by that, given the history.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Governor, I want to thank you for being with us this morning. I've said at the beginning you always answer the questions. And-- and-- and you do. I wonder if I could ask a favor of you.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Sure.
BOB SCHIEFFER: You know, we've been trying for a long time to get Mitt Romney to come sit down at this table. Now you're obviously a friend--
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: I am.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --and-- and an advisor. You make a good case for him. But I'd like to hear him make the case. Would you put in a word for us and say, you know, they'd love to see you over there at FACE THE NATION, if you'd accept their invitation.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: You bet I will. When I talk to him next time I'll tell him it's a good friendly place to come to answer questions of people across the country wanting your answer.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right, well thank you very much, Governor. Thank you very much.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Thank you, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: We'll be back in a minute to talk to Martin O'Malley, the Democratic governor of Maryland.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: The next President of United States of America, Governor Mitt Romney.
BOB SCHIEEFER: And for what I'm betting is going to be a slightly different take on all of this is, the Democratic governor of Maryland, Martin O'Malley who is in town. Governor, thank you for coming.
GOVERNOR MARTIN O'MALLEY (D-Maryland/Chairman, Democratic Governors Association): Thank you, Bob.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you heard Chris Christie. He makes a good case for Mitt Romney. What is your take as a Democrat as you're sitting back and watching this race unfold.
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