WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowans haven’t seen the last of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
During his second trip to the state in less than three weeks, Christie said Friday that he plans to return to Iowa as many times as it takes to convince Hawkeye voters that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is the right man to defeat President Obama in 2012.
“If you don’t do what your supposed to do on Tuesday for Mitt Romney, I will be back -- Jersey-style, people, I will be back,” Christie told a rowdy crowd of voters who turned out to see him and Romney outside a Hyvee grocery store in West Des Moines.
The Iowa caucuses are Tuesday, the first nominating contest of the Republican primary season.
But regardless of what happens in the caucuses, Christie said he'd be back in Iowa.
“I would much rather come back to Iowa this fall to campaign for Mitt Romney... to help him lead this country,” Christie said, fanning speculation that he's interested in the vice presidential slot. “All you need to know is this: I’m going to be there every minute that I can possibly be to help him because I believe in our country just as much as you do.”
After the event, Christie was the subject of all the buzz among dozens of voters who were scarfing down eggs and bacon in the Hyvee Kitchen, a popular breakfast spot.
"I think he's so funny!" one woman exclaimed to a table of fellow diners. "I think he would be a great president."
"You know they say the camera adds 10 pounds," another woman noted, referring to Christie's weight -- which Christie jokes is the reason he can't run for national office.
During his last trip to Iowa, Christie was asked twice by Iowa voters at a town-hall event whether he would consider campaigning as Romney's running mate.
Christie, who once considered running for the Republican nomination, did not close the door on the possibility.
"I wouldn't bet on a Romney-Christie moment," he said, adding that it would be "impolite" to rule it out. "But one never knows."