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Christie Political ‘Land Mines’ Kept Him Off Romney’s VP List, Book Says

NEW JERSEY 101.5

Potential “land mines” from Chris Christie’s past eliminated him from Mitt Romey’s short list of vice presidential nominees according to excerpts from a new book about the 2012 presidential election.

Cover for the book Double Down
Cover for the book Double Down (Amazon.com)

Excerpts from the book, Double Down: Game Change 2012, reported by the New York Times and the political website Politico, also say the Obama campaign considered replacing Vice President Joseph Biden with Hillary Clinton on the Democrat ticket and detail President Obama’s anger at Cory Booker’s claim to have been “nauseated” by campaign ads critical of his GOP opponent’s financial industry background.

Authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann say that Romney’s vetting team viewed the New Jersey governor’s background as “littered with potential land mines,” citing questions about names and documentation of Christie’s household help, his medical history, a defamation lawsuit from early in his political career, his time as a Trenton lobbyist for the securities industry and a Securities and Exchange Commission settlement involving his brother Todd.

Beth Myers, who ran Romney’s vice presidential search, in a statement issued in response to the Times story wrote, “Governor Christie complied fully with the Romney campaign’s request for documents in a timely manner, including a complete medical report from his internist and cardiologist.”

Romney was upset with Christie early in his campaign following a meeting at Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion in Princeton, seeking an endorsement. Christie was not an early supporter and in what Romney felt was a “Soprano’s” like ultimatum, warned him about trying to fundraise in New Jersey. Romney’s team went along with the request and Christie ultimately became an active supporter.

Booker’s Video Apology

Cory Booker on Meet the Press
Cory Booker on Meet the Press (NBC)

President Obama, according to the book, demanded an apology from Cory Booker after an appearance on Meet the Press in which he called Obama political ads attacking Romney’s Bain Capital “nauseating.”

Instead of issuing the requested short statement, Booker released a homemade video that still angered the Obama campaign since they say Booker was playing to his Wall Street and private equity donor base. In a subsequent appearance on MSNBC Booker denied making the second video at the campaign’s request.

Replacing Biden

Two top Obama campaign aides ran focus groups and took polls testing the waters of replacing Biden with Hillary Clinton after Biden has wanted to get some financial support of his own from political donors in Silicon Valley and in Hollywood. Obama was also upset that Biden expressed his support for gay marriage before Obama. The research concluded there was no real advantage in the eyes of voters.

Double Down: Game Change 2012 goes on sale Election Day: Tuesday, November 5.

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