WASHINGTON Leading Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Wednesday that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would be on his short list for vice presidential running mate if he won the Republican presidential nomination.
A day after Romney won Christie's endorsement, the former Massachusetts governor appeared alongside Christie for an interview with NBC's "Today" show and said they were "great friends."
"We agree on a whole host of issues," Romney said. "We've spent time together over the last year getting to know each other better. I've asked for his counsel on policy matters and so I think we're pretty sympathetic on the issues that matter."
Asked if, as party nominee, he would have Christie on his vice presidential short list, Romney replied: "Of course. He'd be on anyone's short list."
Christie, a popular Republican figure who many hoped would seek the party's presidential nomination, officially withdrew from consideration last week and endorsed Romney on Tuesday to be the party's choice to run against President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential campaign.
The move by Christie, known for his straight-talking conservatism, could go far in dispelling doubts about Romney's conservative credentials that have kept many potential supporters on the sidelines.
Christie told NBC he endorsed Romney without any promises from the candidate, who recently reclaimed his Republican front-runner status from Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Christie was characteristically demure about the possibility of running for national office as a vice presidential nominee. "Honestly, I don't know I'd be anybody's good match," he said.
But Romney seemed to disagree.
"The truth is that Governor Christie is one of the leading figures in the Republican Party," he said.
"Anyone who becomes our nominee is going to look at people like Governor Christie and say: 'Well, that would be a terrific person to have on the ticket.'"
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Bill Trott)