ASPEN, CO -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has some advice for Mitt Romney: choose a running mate who is anti-abortion.
“If you're voting for somebody at the top of the ticket who's pro-life, and vice presidents often – not always, but often – wind up succeeding to leadership of the party, if not leadership of the country," Christie said, "You know, people want some consistency in that regard."
Romney, whose views on abortion have become more conservative since he first expressed them during his 1994 Senate run, is opposed to abortion -- except, he has said, in cases of rape and incest and when the life of the mother is in danger.
Christie delivered his remarks during a Q & A with several Republican governors Wednesday evening. The event, held beneath a large tent and hosted by the Aspen Institute, followed meetings earlier Wednesday of the Republican Governors Association here in this upscale resort city.
“Do I think it’s possible? I think it’s possible,” Christie said of the possibility of Romney picking a running mate who supports abortion rights. “Do I think it’s likely? No. And do I think it’s advisable? No. I wouldn’t do it.”
That standard would not seem to eliminate many top-tier names from the list of Romney’s potential running mates – aside from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has described her views as “mildly pro-choice.”
Christie did not name Rice, though he praised Republicans for what he said are more permissive attitudes toward divergent views inside the party.
“The Democratic Party won’t even let someone who’s pro-life speak at their convention,” Christie said, referring to former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey, who said in 1992 he was denied a speaking slot because of his views on abortion rights.
He also said Romney hadn't called on him for advice on the closely-watched decision.
“You know, again, this is going to be Governor Romney's choice,” he continued, adding, "he can choose whoever he wants. If he asks for my advice, I'd give him my advice on it. He hasn't asked for my advice on who he's going to pick for vice president yet.”
Wednesday’s panel included four other high-profile governors: Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.