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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the 2012 Republican National Convention
Among the nuggets from the latest installment in the Mark Halperin-John Heilemann Game Change presidential election franchise is this morsel flagged by Jonathan Martin:
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, another potential presidential candidate, is described as having been eliminated from vice-presidential contention by Mr. Romney because of unanswered questions about his background and health. [...] Mr. Romney included the blunt-talking governor on his vice-presidential shortlist, crossed him off, reconsidered choosing him and then ultimately decided that he could not pick Mr. Christie. Mr. Romney made the decision not only because of the fund-raising restrictions Mr. Christie would face as the governor of New Jersey, but also because Mr. Christie did not offer the same amount of information to Mr. Romney’s team of vetters as the other potential vice-presidential picks.

According to a memo on Mr. Christie from the vetting team, it had unanswered questions on a defamation lawsuit against the governor from earlier in his political career, on a Securities and Exchange Commission settlement involving Mr. Christie’s brother, on names and documentation of his household help, on information from his time as a securities industry lobbyist, and on his medical history. “The dossier on the Garden State governor’s background was littered with potential land mines,” the authors write.

If you're suffering from a severe case of Willard withdrawal (as I'll admit that I sometimes am), then the first thing you'll notice is that Mittens made his decision, then flip-flopped on it, and then flip-flopped again, but the thing that's actually interesting and noteworthy here is is that in Team Romney's estimation, Chris Christie has some serious liabilities as a general election candidate.

It's well-known that Romney had concerns about Christie's health—this was before Christie's stomach stapling surgery—and the fundraising implications of picking him—investment firms are barred from donating to the campaign of any governor of a state with whom they conduct business, which would have made raising from Wall Street extremely difficult for Romney.

But it's interesting that in addition to questions about his medical history, Romneyland had specific concerns about about potential legal troubles involving Christie and his brother as well as concerns about Christie's earlier career as a lobbyist and his household staff—and that Christie was apparently unwilling to divulge information to clear those concerns up.

Maybe Christie simply didn't want to be Romney's vice presidential pick and didn't see any reason to supply the information, but if that were the case, you'd think that Christie would have tried to take his name out of the running before it got to the point where such questions were being asked. But that seems a little farfetched. Even if he didn't want to be Romney's running mate, it's hard to see why he'd want to leave questions like these unanswered—unless they were difficult questions to answer.

Assuming Christie decides to run in 2016, it won't be that long before we find out.

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