"Face the Nation" transcript: February 26, 2012

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, he-- he also said at one point he-- he was not worried about the very poor. Clearly you're a politician that does seem to worry about that. You have got a new state budget out here. It includes more money for the poor. It includes more for hospitals to take care of the poor. It includes more for education. Do you think Mitt Romney cares about the very poor?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: I think-- I think he does. You-- you know, the whole answer, Bob, was that he wasn't as concerned about the poor because there's a Safety Net. And if the Safety Net had holes, he would repair it. And I think Governor Romney cares about all the American people. You know, listen, when you're out there and the camera is following you twenty-four seven, sometimes you're going to misspeak. And he did. And I think he admitted that. He apologized for it. And you have got to move on. I mean, I think in this twenty-four-seven era we live in, you know, believe me, I've done it. Everybody in public life who speaks honestly is going to do it. If we want our-- our blow-dried answers, focus-group tested answers, then we're not going to really know who the man is. And-- and I think we're getting to know Mitt Romney.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You know, I want to shift to what are the other people in this race and that is Rick Santorum. He made this strangest accusation yesterday. He said President Obama is a snob because he wants everyone to get a college education. He said earlier this week he wanted to get the states out of education. Obviously you don't agree with that part. But what-- what is that all about?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well, I don't know. I-- what I see is the way I put it all the time, Bob, is we need to have an education system in New Jersey and all over the country that makes all of our kids, either college or career ready. It should be their choice. I mean, every kid doesn't want to go to college. But I think we should aspire to let every child reach his maximum or her maximum potential. And if Senator Santorum is against that, then I don't think that makes any sense. And I certainly don't think the President is a snob for saying that. I think that's probably over the line.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think Rick Santorum and-- and, well, the-- the candidates in general, are pushing your party too far to the right to make-- make the nomination worth anything when you-- when you get to November?

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: No, Rick Santorum is not going to be the nominee. And in the end, Governor Romney who has some real conservative values but has real appeal to independents across the country is going to be the nominee. He's going to be talking about the things that he should be talking about--jobs in the economy, robust economic recovery, not the weak one that we're having now, and get more people back to work. And-- and reinvigorating our entrepreneurial spirit, not a government top-down solution. He'll be talking about those things. And listen, it always looks bad when you're in the middle of these fights. Remember, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? I mean they said women would never going to vote for Barack Obama after the way he treated Hillary Clinton in that race. Plenty of women voted for Barack Obama in 2008. When we get through the primary, Bob, it will be okay.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But wha-- what I'm wondering about is his concentration on social issues. Al Simpson who used to be a Senator from Wyoming--


BOB SCHIEFFER: --and has a way of pointing a point on things.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Sure does. I like him.

BOB SCHIEFFER: He said the other day, well-- well, here's what he said about if you go too far on these social issues.

AL SIMPSON: I am convinced that-- that if you get into these social issues and just stay in there about abortion and homosexuality and even mental health they bring up, if we're going to do that-- and here's a party that believes in government out of your life, the precious right of privacy, and the right to be left alone. How then can they be the hypocrisy of fiddling around in these social issues? We-- we won't have a prayer.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you agree with that?