Morning Joe | August 07, 2012
>> a look at the list of speakers for the republican national convention may help narrow down the vp list.
>> al, that's right, right? that narrows it down, right?
>> if you get a speaker slot, you're not going to be the pick.
>> though some old rules were thrown out 12 years ago. it used to be if you were in charge of the selection committee you were not going to be -- we threw that one out. i think it's clear none of those --
>> this is the consolation prize .
>> romney is set to embark on a three-state bus tour this weekend. senator rob portman will reportedly be on hand in ohio where the tournds. senator marco rubio and governor bob mcdonnell will take place in events, bobby jind al and tim pawlenty are also said to be on the short list.
>> let's keep this up for a minute. john meacham , look who is not on that list. i'm wondering if we're not being played here. i'm wondering if it's chris christie and we're being played. nobody's talked about chris christie in a couple of weeks. they're ending a bus tour in ohio . it makes you think that's going to be portman , a state, by the way, that romney can win actually without portman . new jersey is a state that he cannot win without let's say chris christie , who, by the way, has one of the highest approval ratings in the nation.
>> he's in the news today.
>> which is unbelievable. and his rating -- his approval rating is at 55%. only 35% of people in new jersey disapprove of him. i just wonder if we're being set up here.
>> well, we always are. and like lucy and the football we always run down and we miss it. one sure way to make sure someone's not going to be picked as vice president is for us to talk about them beforehand. you can -- palin, as we all know, was so topic a four years ago and the cheney surprise and the gore surprise and the quayle surprise. so there's about a quarter century of our getting this wrong basically. and biden wasn't really -- my memory is not that he was not top of mind. so history would suggest, yeah, there will be a surprise. the interesting thing to my mind about governor christie, as he said to you all, is does the down side outweigh the up side here? he is someone who has an authenticity, will go off script and governor romney , does he have the stomach for that going forward?
>> al, is that what he needs? again, nobody's talked about chris christie but you look at the approval ratings , he's plus 20 in new jersey .
>> i think he's the single most interesting figure in the republican party .
>> i must say, joe, is that what romney needs? romney needs romney . i don't think running mates are going to matter, even someone as large as life of chris christie . i don't think portman will carry ohio for him. i just don't think running mates do that. only one that's done that in the last 50 years has been lyndon. i think that romney is such a cautious conservative sort of a fellow that he's much likely to be traditional. i'm not sure who that will be but i would guess like most conventional wisdom it will be tim pawlenty or rob portman . you can sit back there and say if we pick chris christie we have energized the nation for three months, i don't think it works that way.
>> with chris christie you'd make a bigger splash for a few days than you would with john portman or john thune , who is also not on that list.
>> really exciting now.
>> i was just thinking people who were not be being played.
>> isn't meacham right, though, we do these picks and we almost always get it wrong. there was the floating of evan bayh in 2008 .
>> i think in the last week we pretty much knew it was joe biden . to not know this close seems unusual.
>> my question is why hasn't -- if we're going to bring christie again as this energizing figure and i understand he has issues back home but marco rubio would present this new republican front --
>> marco's new. i mean, marco just got to the senate. and i know chris christie just got to new jersey -- come on, man.
>> he's played in the big leagues for a long time where you don't have that sense about rubio.
>> do you know how many people in america, how many candidates in america could go to new jersey and do what chris christie did since 2009 ? let me tell you, one, chris christie . it has been an extraordinary high wire act . the fact that this guy has taken on -- jersey . listen, new jersey ? i mean, new jersey is one of the toughest states. and that guy -- i mean, he's passed this new teacher tenure law.
>> this is a case for chris christie as a good presidential candidate , not a vice presidential candidate .
>> this is a case for a republican party that has been disillusioned for 12 years -- i'm talking about myself now -- disillusions by people who talk the talk but never walk the walk. and you have a guy in chris christie who did the opposite of what bush did on spending, did the opposite of what the congress did on spending, what they did on medicare part d. he has made one tough choice after another, al, and he's won time and time again. teacher tenure in new jersey , done. chris christie did that. he took on the public unions. whether you love public unions or hate public unions, the fact that this guy has been able to do it with energize the republican party .
>> you hated him ten months ago.
>> and you need him on the top of the ticket.
>> if you don't think i wasn't calling him ten months ago. again, i guess we are all and i'm sure john meacham 's the same way, we're all too framed in 1960 and lyndon johnson . that world doesn't exist anymore.
>> a single example since that where the vice president has made an outcome.
>> well, lloyd benson -- oops, you're right.
>> and palin with alaska.
>> you talk about the comparison between marco rubio and chris christie . remember when he was on our set and he was completely swarmed unexpectedly on the issue of gay marriage and jonathan came runs in the room and sat down, flash cam, everyone was attacking him and he was loaded, just completely ready, enjoyed it, handled it, had his own opinion.
>> i remember when chris christie was sitting at 35%. you noe how he acted at 35%? the same exact way he acts now that he's plus 20. heap says i don't care. i'm going to do what i'm going to do.
>> it doesn't seem like someone romney would pick, though, does it?
>> it is opposite. he says he has no comment happy face happy face . who says that to someone? what are you, my teenage daughter?
>> he would probably diminish mitt romney .
>> you saw that in the primaries, when you saw them in iowa and new hampshire tonight, chris christie would come on the stage and the crowd would go wild. is that really what mitt romney wants? i'm not sure. i think it a tricky balance for him.
>> i sent him back one that winks.
>> you know, you don't have to send us every text u send to chris christie .
>> coming up, the regime of the syrian president is cracking. what an unbelievable story, about not only the prime minister defecting but a lot of powerful sunni families slipping out the back door.
>> more " morning joe " in a moment. how does this thing