Christie Gets Celebrity Welcome in Israel

Friday, 06 Apr 2012 03:23 PM

By Dan Weil

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New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie made a strongly positive impression on his hosts in Israel this week, while at home there was talk that Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney might choose the feisty freshman as his running mate.

In Israel, Christie met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. Christie spoke to Netanyahu for more than an hour, longer than originally planned, a knowledgeable source told Politico. Later that night, Netanyahu and his wife invited Christie and his wife to their home, a rare step for the prime minister to take with foreign guests. Christie was treated like a star celebrity at the Western Wall and elsewhere in Jerusalem.

The trip boosts Christie’s credentials for the vice presidential slot – or the presidency should he decide to run in 2016, Politico says. But “that was not a consideration in any of the thought process” behind the trip, Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which co-sponsored the trip, told Politico.

“What was important to him, and what I think is an important point, is he wanted his first international trip as governor to be to Israel. ... New Jersey has the second-largest Jewish population in the country, and [as] the governor of New Jersey, it’s perfectly understandable why he’d want to go to Israel.”



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