WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Newt Gingrich may have swamped Mitt Romney in recent polls, but Romney's surrogates are pressing ahead with a simple argument: Like him or not, Romney remains the most electable candidate in the Republican presidential field.

2 comments on this story

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie argued Wednesday that even if Iowa Republicans don't agree with Romney on every issue, they ought to support him because he has the best chance of defeating President Barack Obama.

"He is the only person who I believe can legitimately take the fight to Barack Obama this November," he said. "As Republicans, we know we love our party, but I will tell you if you're looking for a candidate who agrees with you on everything, buy a mirror because that's the only one you're going to find that agrees with you on everything."

Christie, a hugely popular governor who many Republicans hoped to entice into the race, was making his first appearance on behalf of Romney in Iowa.