Romney praises Christie for 'strong LBJ-type leadership style'

Mitt Romney praised New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday for his “strong LBJ-type leadership style.”

In an interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network, Romney confirmed an earlier report that Christie wanted Romney’s 2012 campaign team to clear with him who Romney would raise money with in New Jersey. 

Cavuto asked Romney if that depicted Christie as a bully—a criticism he’s faced in recent weeks as details of the bridge and Sandy recovery funding scandals unfold--but Romney spun it as a positive trait. 

“No, I consider it to be a strong LBJ-type leadership style,” Romney replied. “I think people want someone tough. I think they want someone who can get Republicans and Democrats to work together, who can control his own party, and keep them from running off the rails.” [WATCH VIDEO]

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Former Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson was known for arm-twisting members of Congress to advance his agenda.

As for 2016, Romney suggested Christie would make “a strong leader.”

He reiterated, however, that he probably wouldn’t endorse a GOP presidential candidate until the primary season ends.

“We’ve got some terrific people, in my view, that are lining up to potentially look at 2016,” said Romney. “You know Paul Ryan will be first and foremost in my mind given an extraordinary campaign that we worked on together and his leadership in Washington. But Jeb Bush may get in, Mike Huckabee might come back, Scott Walker in Wisconsin could run, John Kasich in Ohio.”

Cavuto noted Romney didn’t mention Tea Party Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) or Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

“They represent different parts of the party,” Romney said. “I need to give them a chance to express their views. But I think we’d be best if we can unify behind a leader of the party who represents as broad a portion of the party as possible.”