Tags: christie | obama | gop | critics

Defiant Christie Defends His Obama 'Embrace'

By Todd Beamon   |   Wednesday, 07 Nov 2012 10:28 PM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, under attack by conservatives for his weak support of Mitt Romney during the presidential campaign, is defending his praise of President Barack Obama following the initial strike of Superstorm Sandy. But to many,  it rang hollow.

“I wouldn’t call what I did an embrace of Barack Obama,” Christie began at an event at the High Point Volunteer Fire Company in the southern part of the New Jersey, Politico reports. “I know that’s become the wording of it, but the fact of the matter is, you know, I’m a guy who tells the truth all the time. And if the president of the United States did something good, I was gonna say he did something good and give him credit for it.

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“But it doesn’t take away for a minute from the fact that I was the first governor to endorse Mitt Romney, that I traveled literally tens of thousands of miles for him, raised tens of millions of dollars for him and worked harder, I think, than any other surrogate in America other than Paul Ryan – and he was his running mate.”

Conservatives were angered that Christie praised Obama saying the president deserved "great credit" for being on the phone with him and ensuring FEMA met his state's needs immediately after the storm struck last week. He was unapologetic about suggesting Mitt Romney, just a week shy of the Nov.6 election, wait to tour the devastation saying as governor he was not concerned about presidential politics during the crisis.

Christie was photographed with Obama during the president's visit to the region, which angered GOP leaders to the point that some have suggested it helped Obama toward reelection as he appeared presidential in the crucial last days of the campaign.

Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Rupert Murdoch pounced on the GOP darling's actions: Limbaugh criticized Christie for shunning Romney and helping Obama. He called Christie at "Greek column" for Obama campaign.

Last Friday, Murdoch said in a tweet the governor should “re-declare for Romney, or take blame for next four dire years.”

By Sunday, Christie had pledged his support for Romney again but dismissed the critics.   “Anybody who is upset in the Republican Party about this, they haven't been to New Jersey. Come see the destruction, come see the loss,” according to Reuters.

In his comments today, however, Christie said he was moving forward and expected the Republican Party to do the same.

“I’m looking forward. As a party, we have to look forward to what our challenges are in the future. This election is over, so we have to look toward the next challenges," he said. “And the next set of challenges are, for the Republican Party, the Republican governors are going to be the folks who lead our country. We’ve added to the ranks of Republican governors last night. We came into the night with 29. We have 30 right now – and votes are still being counted in Montana and Washington, where we might add one or two more.

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“I’m going to continue to work with folks like the Republican governors I work with across the country, to try to make sure that our perspective and our philosophy and our point of view and our record of accomplishment is highlighted for the public.

“The rest of that stuff, I don’t know, you’ll have to go to a political scientist to project on that stuff,” Christie said. “But my job is to do my job, and that’s my most important thing. And I did my job every day, and I think as a supporter of Gov. Romney, I did my job there, too.”

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