Romney Campaign Passed on Christie as VP Because of His Weight and Tardiness, Book Claims
(WASHINGTON) -- According to excerpts from Double Down, a new political tell-all about the 2012 presidential race, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign passed on making New Jersey Governor Chris Christie the GOP candidate for vice president for several reasons, including his weight and tardiness.
In an excerpt published by Time magazine, authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann write that "Romney marveled at Christie's girth, his difficulties in making his way down the narrow aisle of the campaign bus."
In another excerpt the authors write, "Watching a video of Christie without his suit jacket on, Romney cackled to his aides, 'Guys! Look at that!'"
According to the book, Christie told the Romney campaign that he had "no health issues that would hinder him from serving as the vice-presidential nominee," but Romney's vetting team noted otherwise. "Christie suffers from asthma and was briefly hospitalized last year after he suffered an asthma attack," the vetting report read. "He is also obese and has indicated that he struggles with his weight."
Christie's alleged tardiness also irked the Romney campaign.
The authors write, "Chronically behind schedule, Christie made a habit of showing up late to Romney fundraising events. In May he was so tardy to a donor reception at the Grand Hyatt New York that Mitt wound up taking the stage to speak before Christie arrived. When the Jersey governor finally made his grand entrance, it was as if Mitt had been his warm-up act. Punctuality mattered to Romney. Christie's lateness bugged him."
Double Down also makes note of other problems the Romney campaign had with Christie, including his demands for "lavish spreads of food," and an "overbearing" staff.
The Romney campaign eventually decided to pick Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as the candidate's running mate.
During an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, Romney said Christie's "health is very solid, very good."
Romney also said he thinks Christie will be a front-runner in 2016.
Double Down will be released Tuesday.
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