The Washington Times - October 2, 2011, 05:20PM

Speculation on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s potential presidential bid was the topic du jour on the Sunday talk shows. But Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Christie’s “boss” at the Republican Governors Association, said he’d be “surprised” if Mr. Christie takes the plunge.

“I’m going to leave that up to Chris Christie,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” calling him an “extraordinary communicator” and a “great governor.”


Mr. McDonnell, who has been linked to Mr. Christie ever since their victories in 2009, reiterated his position that the GOP will field a strong candidate next year — whoever emerges from the crowded field.

“I think there’s nine people on that stage in the debates that are great people and they’re going to get better over time,” he said. “But Chris is a unique, successful governor with a positive outlook and I think he would fare very well against the president. But ultimately the call is his. I’d be surprised at this point if he got in.”

Mr. McDonnell, who headlined a fundraiser for New Hampshire Republicans last Monday in the early presidential primary state, also could not escape a question on his own political future as a potential vice presidential pick.

“If somebody called and said, ‘look, you could help our country, help our ticket,’ I think any of us would think about it. Right now, I’m thinking about making Virginia more competitive [with] Massachusetts and making it a good state,” he said, in a nod to a fellow guest on the program Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat.