By Meghashyam Mali - 10/04/12 11:14 AM EDT
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who had predicted a strong performance from Mitt Romney during the first presidential debate, said he had been proven right, with the GOP nominee delivering a “knockout.”
“I just don’t think that anyone else was paying attention. I mean, every time in this campaign that Mitt Romney has his back up against the wall and he’s had a debate, he came out and had a game-changing debate,” said the prominent Romney surrogate on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" on Thursday. “Ask Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich — every time he’s done it.
While other campaign surrogates had sought to downplay expectations ahead of the crucial Wednesday night debate, Christie over the weekend said the face-to-face match-ups would be a game-changer for Romney.
"This whole race is gonna be turned upside down come Thursday morning," Christie predicted on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
On Thursday, Christie praised Romney, arguing that the GOP challenger had delivered, taking his message straight to the American people in the debate.
“At the end of the day, Gov. Romney came out and he seized the argument on the substance,” said Christie. “He went out and said, ‘Here’s where I want to take America, here’s my vision' and I don’t think the president was ready to answer that.”
Christie said the president was unable to match Romney’s “energy.”
“It didn’t look like he wanted to engage Gov. Romney, and the fact of the matter is, you know, you can’t beat the champ on points.”
Christie added that he was confident Romney would be able to build on this debate in the next two contests.
“Look at the guy’s history. This guy hasn’t been as successful as he has in everything in his life by not being competitive and a winner, and that’s what he’s done,” said Christie.