Christie: Gingrich an "embarrassment" to GOP

NJ Gov. Chris Christie

New Jersey Governor and Mitt Romney surrogate Chris Christie went after Newt Gingrich on Sunday, calling the newly-crowned South Carolina primary winner an "embarrassment" to the Republican party.

"Newt Gingrich has embarrassed the party over time. Whether he'll do it again in the future I don't know, but Governor Romney never has," Christie said in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"Sometimes past is prologue," he said.

The outspoken governor conceded that Saturday's Palmetto State primary, in which Gingrich trounced Romney by 13 points, was "clearly disappointing" to the former Massachusetts governor. But he said he still thought Romney would prevail in Florida, which holds its primary contest on January 31.

"You know, I'm not going to try to say last night was good news for the Romney campaign. We had a bad week as a campaign, and a bad result last night," Christie said. "So, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and you get to Florida and fight. I still believe that Governor Romney's going to win in Florida on the 31st, and then return to Florida in August as the Republican nominee."

Christie targeted Gingrich's experience in Congress as insufficient to serve as president, arguing that "we don't need another legislator in the Oval Office who doesn't know how to use executive authority."

"The Speaker has never run anything," he said.

The governor also addressed concerns that Romney, who last week suffered from back-to-back lackluster debate performances, has difficulty connecting with voters.

"He is a very reserved guy," Christie said, of Romney. "Everyone can have success in politics with different personalities and every candidate... has liabilities."

Romney recently pointed to Christie as one person he'd consider for his running mate if tapped for the GOP nomination. On Sunday, Christie said he was inclined to stay governor but that he'd "listen" if approached on the matter.