Christie predicts big Romney win in debate

Sept. 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The bruising Republican primaries will pay off for Mitt Romney when he debates President Obama this week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie predicted.

Christie made the rounds of the Sunday television talk shows and said Romney would be difficult to beat in a debate forum he had become familiar with earlier in the race.

"That's where he shines," Christie said on CBS's "Face the Nation," alluding to the 20 primary debates in which Romney often fended off jabs from multiple candidates.

Christie said he expected Romney to "lay out his vision for America" Wednesday in a forum that will directly challenge President Obama's strategy. The result, he said, would be a lot of independent voters falling in behind the Romney bandwagon.

"This whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning," Christie said.

Romney has been scuffling in the polls with the president. The race has been quite close in recent polls despite the continued economic lethargy and stubborn unemployment rate in the United States.

Christie predicted the debates would finally give Romney the opportunity to connect with a nationwide audience and present a clear alternative to the Obama administration. "You are going to have ten of millions of people for the very first time really tuning in and paying attention to this race," Christie said on NBC's "Meet the Press. "And for the first time you're going to have them be able to make a direct side-by-side comparison."

Christie said the debate would give Romney the opportunity to "go big" in his campaign message, which has been the growing call from prominent Republican leaders and pundits who fear his campaign has been bogged down in quibbling with the Democrats over minor issues.

But senior White House adviser David Plouffe in an appearance on ABC's "This Week" said challengers historically get a bump in the polls after a debate and Wednesday would not change the polls significantly. "We are going to tell the American people on Wednesday night ... exactly where we are as a country, where we need to go, how we rebuild an economy that makes the middle class secure, and with great detail so people understand," he said.

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