Sarah Palin has some advice for Mitt Romney surrogate Chris Christie: Don’t get your “panties in a wad” and say things you’ll regret later.
The New Jersey governor made headlines over the weekend by calling Newt Gingrich an “embarrassment” to the Republican Party, but this rhetoric, according to Palin, was nothing more than a “rookie mistake.”
“Poor Chris. This was a rookie mistake. He played right into the media’s hand,” Palin said on Fox Business Network late Monday. “The host had asked Chris, ‘Does Newt embarrass the party?’ I think he asked him twice, and there, Chris played right into it.”
She added, “You know, sometimes if your candidate loses in just one step along this path, as was the case when Romney lost to Newt the other night, and of course, Romney is Chris Christie’s guy. Well, you kind of get your panties in a wad and you may say things that you regret later. And I think that that’s what Chris Christie did.”
Palin charged that answering the question the way he did in response to the host’s question demonstrated a “lack of self-discipline” on Christie’s part — a mistake the former Alaska governor boasted she herself had already learned not to make.
She suggested that eventually the straight-talking governor will learn that the media’s goal is to “goad” people into blurting out sound bites – in this case, a sound bite that will make the perfect “ad for the Democrats” if Gingrich becomes the GOP nominee.
“He just produced an ad for the Democrats. If Newt is the nominee, he just handed them free this negative PR ad,” Palin said.
Here’s a portion of the transcript of NBC’s “Meet the Press” host David Gregory and Christie’s back-and-forth on Sunday:
MR. GREGORY: You’ve been more pointed when you talk about in favor of Governor Romney. You say he will never embarrass you. Do you think Newt Gingrich will embarrass the party?
GOV. CHRISTIE: I think Newt Gingrich has embarrassed the party over time. Whether he’ll do it again in the future, I don’t know. But Governor Romney never has.
MR. GREGORY: You say he’s embarrassed the party. How and where do you worry he might do it again that makes him unelectable?
GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, listen, David, we all know the record. I mean, he was run out of the speakership by his own party. He was fined $300,000 for ethics violations. This is a guy who’s had a very difficult political career at times and has been an embarrassment for the party. You remember these times, you were here. So the fact of the matter is, I don’t need to regale the country with that entire list again except to say this. I’m not saying he will do it again in the future, but sometimes past is prologue.