NBC News’ Jamie Gangel scored an exclusive interview with Mitt Romney and his newest endorser, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, this afternoon capturing this exchange on the potential for a Romney-Christie ticket:
JAMIE GANGEL: Why are you endorsing him?
GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: He’s the best person for the job. It’s simply on the merits. And the fact is that we need to make sure that Barack Obama’s a one-term president for America’s future. And I’ve looked at all the Republican candidates. I’ve met with many of them. And there’s no question in my mind that Governor Romney’s the person who gives us the best chance of winning back the White House in November 2012. And I want to do everything I can to help him.
JAMIE GANGEL: Did he promise you anything?
GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Absolutely nothing.
JAMIE GANGEL: Vice President Christie?
GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: No, he didn’t promise me anything.
JAMIE GANGEL: I know, Governor Romney, you have said in the past it’s presumptuous to talk about a vice president at this point. But you’ve also said that Governor Christie would be on anybody’s shortlist to be vice president. Would he be on your shortlist?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Well, of course, he’d be on anyone’s shortlist. He may take himself off the list and say, “No way. He’d have no interest.” But the truth is that Governor Christie is one of the leading figures in the Republican Party. And as someone who has taken extreme interests inside his state, has battled them down, and is balancing the budget in New Jersey without raising taxes, and creating the kind of environment that will ultimately create more and more jobs is what America needs… And there are others, of course, who are in the same category. We got Republican governors, in particular, around the country that are making a real difference.
JAMIE GANGEL: Would you think he would be a good match?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Look, we’re great friends. We agree on a whole host of issues. Probably a few we don’t agree on. I don’t even know what those are. But we spent time together over the last year, getting to know each other better. I’ve asked for his counsel on policy matters. And so I think we’re pretty sympathetic on the issues that matter today.
JAMIE GANGEL: Do you think you’d be a good match?
GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: Honestly, like I said before, I don’t know that I’d be anybody’s good match in that regard. (LAUGH) But ultimately, that’s going to be– that kind of thing is up to the person who’s the presidential nominee to decide who they think is the best person for them and most importantly the best person for the country. But in the end, for me, I’m with Governor Romney, because, you know, we’ve known each other for a number of years now.
The exclusive interview will air tonight on “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” (6:30 p.m. ET) and tomorrow, October 12 on “Today” (7 a.m. ET), according to NBC.
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