This morning on CBS’s Face the Nation, Chris Christie didn’t shy away from setting very high expectations for Mitt Romney’s debate performance this week, saying that “this whole race is going to be turned upside down” after Wednesday night’s debate. The Obama campaign has tried to reduce expectations for their candidate, while the Romney campaign has also tried not to raise them too high. No such subtleties for Governor Christie, though, who argued that “we have a candidate who’s going to do extraordinarily well on Wednesday night.”
Host Bob Schieffer pressed Christie on his argument, asking why the debates could be so important; the governor argued that “it’s a whole different deal,” offering a face-to-face contrast between the candidates. Christie didn’t try to spin the situation in which Mitt Romney finds himself, admitting readily that “he’s had a tough couple weeks,” and later, “he’s had a bad two weeks,” but he was quick to explain why he remains hopeful. Citing Romney in the primaries, Christie pointed out that “every time he was backed into a corner in the primaries,” he had a “spectacular” turnaround in the debates. “I’ve seen Mitt Romney do this before,” the governor explained.
Christie concluded, “Thursday morning, you’re all going to be scratching your heads and saying ‘wow, we’re going to have a barn-burner for the next 33 days.’”
UPDATE: Robert Costa points out that Christie advised Romney on debate prep throughout the primaries, adding some context to the “I’ve seen this” line.