Mitt Romney's Code Name For Chris Christie: 'Pufferfish'

Chris Christie

Well that’s not nice.
A new book reveals that Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign used “fish” codenames for potential vice presidential running mates, according to the Washington Post.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) was “Fishconsin.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) was “Pescado.” And Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) was… “Pufferfish.”

The search was named “Project Goldfish,” according to the Post, which on Friday described the contents of excerpts of “Double Down,” a book about the campaign by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

The codename wasn’t the only instance of Romney and his staffers poking fun at Christie’s weight, according to the Post’s account of the book. Part of the reason Romney initially crossed Christie off his list, in fact, was his lack of physical fitness (in addition to his habitual tardiness).

Here’s one excerpt from the Post:

“Romney marveled at Christie’s girth, his difficulties in making his way down the narrow aisle of the campaign bus. Watching a video of Christie without his suit jacket on, Romney cackled to his aides, ‘Guys! Look at that!'”

Eventually, Romney strategists Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer urged him to reconsider Christie. But the book details a long list of unanswered questions that eventually led to Christie’s ouster from the shortlist.

Christie is described in the book as being frustrated with the Romney campaign. At one point, after he earned scrutiny from his keynote speech at the Republican National Convention, he reportedly told a Romney adviser, “I’m tired of you people!!! Leave me the [expletive] alone!!!!”

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