Critiquing Romney & praising Obama, Christie dishes to Oprah

Oprah Winfrey with Gov. Christie and his family in Mendham. Winfrey asked the governor, as well as Mary Pat and children Andrew, 18; Patrick, 11; Bridget, 8; and Sarah, 15, about the pressures that come with speculation over a run for higher office.

Oprah Winfrey visited the Christies at home for an hour-long show, "Oprah's Next Chapter," that aired last night on Oprah's OWN channel. Although there was nothing groundbreaking, we learned a few interesting things (not the least of which is that 2008 Obama supporter Oprah is seriously enamored with Christie):

Christie on Romney 

"I have a real sense that Gov. Romney has a real depth of knowledge and experience and understanding about government and business. But he doesn’t really communicate it all that well. I think people have a hard time connecting at times with him. And so his challenge is going to be how to connect with people, how to make them feel what I believe he feels -- which is to do great things for the country."

Christie on Obama

"He's as good a politician as I've ever seen, and so I think where there are shortcomings has been with governing...He's very charismatic, and he's genuine. I think what he says he believes. That’s a very dangerous politician."

Christie on his weight problems

Christie said he's overweight because he eats the wrong things, an admission he's made before. But he also told Oprah that "there is a certain compulsiveness at times to my eating, for sure." He's seeing a dietitian, and a trainer three days a week. "I think if you're the chubby little kid and you have people tease you about it...then it remains with you the rest of your life if you continue to struggle with your weight, as I have."

Advice he would have given Obama last year

"Mr. President, make [Republican Speaker of the House] John Boehner your best friend in the world…have him over for dinner, have him for golf regularly, talk to him, charm him, make him your pal." (By the way, I reported here that Christie had a four-hour solo dinner with his own Boehner -- Democratic Senate President Stephen Sweeney -- last month.)

Christie kids on Dad running for president

During Christie's flirtation with running last year, turns out there was a divided house: The two Christie daughters didn't want him to run, but the two boys were OK with it. "I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to do it but it was very fun while it lasted," said Andrew, 18. Said Sarah, 15: "I wanted to graduate with my class."

Running for president in 2016?

"I could see our family there (in the White House)," wife Mary Pat said. And the gov said: "In terms of me, I'll be much more ready four years from now than I am now."

Christie as the strictest parent EVER

Sarah, 15, isn't allowed to use Facebook due to Dad's concern "that because of my position there's a lot more opportunity for mischief by people." He said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, supports his stance on this. When she's 16, that "might be the year" she's allowed to join the rest of America (including her father) on Facebook.

The Christie house

Place is big! No wonder the gov spends most of his time at his Mendham home instead of the governor's mansion. The kitchen sinks looks out toward a huge backyard, and the decorating style appeared (unsurprisingly) to lean toward the traditional. 

Admission of a criminal history

Apparently the gov and Mary Pat broke into the cafeteria at the University of Delaware some time in the early 80s "because we smelled that they were baking doughnuts for the next morning." They became friends with the baker, and she gave them the goods.