Lebanon, New Hampshire (CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Mitt Romney Tuesday, emphasizing the former Massachusetts governor's electability in a race against President Barack Obama.
"I want to support Gov. Romney because I believe he's the best person to be able to articulate Republican values and defeat Barack Obama in November 2012," Christie said at a press conference.
The endorsement was another sign Romney, the GOP front-runner, is consolidating support among establishment Republicans who believe he is the party's best chance to win back the White House.
Christie ended months of speculation over his presidential intentions last week when he announced he would not run in 2012. The tough-talking governor is a rising star in the Republican Party who had been insistently courted by some influential party insiders who hoped he would enter the presidential race.
After Christie announced he would not run, he and Romney have had a series of conversations over the past week that lead to the announcement, a campaign source told CNN.
During the press conference announcement, Romney was asked for the first time to respond to remarks by Pastor Robert Jeffress, an influential Baptist leader who recently called Mormonism a "cult" and said Mormons were "not Christians." Jeffress made the remarks Friday after endorsing Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington.
Since the comments, Romney, a Mormon, has worked to keep his message on jobs and the economy. But on Tuesday he called for Perry to repudiate Pastor Jeffress.
"I just don't believe that that kind of divisiveness based on religion has a place in this country," Romney said.
While Perry has largely avoided questions on the subject, he told reporters in Iowa on Friday he does not consider Mormonism a cult.
Christie went further in faulting the Perry campaign for not renouncing Jeffress more strongly.
"Any campaign that associates itself with that type of comment is beneath the office of President of the United States," he said.
As he spoke to a room full of media in town for the GOP New Hampshire debate Tuesday night, Christie also vouched for Romney's conservative bona fides and particularly the health care plan Romney's opponents have tied to Obama's health care plan. Christie said that attack was "intellectually dishonest."
"Do not try to equate what's happened with Obamacare with what Gov. Romney did in Massachusetts," Christie said, explaining each state should be able to implement its own health care plan.
"We should not allow people for political purposes to try to be disingenuous about what Gov. Romney did and compare that to what happened, and what is happening, with federal health care legislation supported by the president. Simply intellectually dishonest."
A big bag of hot air endorsing a job exporter. Whoop TEEEE DOOOOOO
Personally, I had hoped that Christie would pledge his support to Ron Paul. However, I am glad to see Christie, and Romney, finally stand up for some tolerance in this country. Whether Romney worships a toad or a frog – it is none of my business. I just want a leader that will LEAD, and will work on improving the lives of ALL American citizens.
Remember Christie's comments critical of those on the far right and their "crazy talk." It would seem that Christie endorsed the only candidate in the race who so far hasn't spewed any crazy talk. Well, except for that part about corporations are people.
Christie should be on Saturday Night Live. He is a hoot.
I heard Mittens got him a season ticket to Hometown Buffet before anyone else could make their move.
@Rudy NYC, Huntsman hasn't said any crazy talk either. I think Romney was a safe bet for Christie to endorse though as I agree he is less likely to say dumb things unlike 90% of the GOP candidates.
Is this Deja vu??? How many times is CNN going to post this story???????????
►"Do not try to equate what's happened with Obamacare with what Gov. Romney did in Massachusetts,"◄ And why shouldn't we? They were both mirrored to each other and Romney knows doggone well he cannot get out of that one – No matter what the BULLY does to try!!!
I must say, though, Abbott and Costello may have a good act up their sleeves but all it will bring to their audience is a "good laugh."
What difference will it make who is president., when the same people that are in office know will be in the house and senate after the presidential election next year. it know that action is needed, not next year. it is the same bs that got us in ghe mess and both sides are playing games with the lives and welfare of the poor and the middle class. the only one benefiting in all tbis are the wealthy and the people in govdrnment. they get paid to keep the poor and middle class in the hole so they can live on the mountain top.
In other words one liability endorsed another: the fatso endorsed the flip-flopper.
and 800 lb gorillas never made it to be VP......if that is what he is looking for.
If it doesnt line up to gods word, its a lie anyway.
I told you sooo… the day of his abdication to no to run for president, I wrote the following on the WAPO blog;
“It is a very ingenious plan, and almost like a conspiracy theory but not sure if it is going to work… a secret pact between Mitt Romney and Chris Christie has been agree to; if Gov. Chris Christie decides to sit out the presidential race for 2012, Romney will offer him the VP spot if he win the republican primary, the plan is already in motion; as major contributors to the New Jersey Governor are already offering their support and money to Romney.
This plan has been blessed by the bosses of the traditional Republican Party, in order to cut the influence of the tea party republicans radicals that have taken over the agenda of the GOP!... stay tanned”
This republican ticket (Romney/Christy) will attract the independent vote!
To my dismay as a progressive democrat, I have been complained about Obama lack of “balls” to fight for the progressive ideals If Obama lose the next presidential elections will be because he failed to energize the democratic and independent voters, to many times he agree with the radical tea party republicans and quit fighting for the core principles of the people who send him to Washington. However I believe it is no too late to display some cajoles and fights the radical tea party republicans.
How do these people distort the truth and sleep and EAT well?
Now that we've got the Christie "pick" out of the way, I guess the only suspense left is who will Mitt's V.P. pick be? God forbid we have another six month Christie replay of "I'm Not Running For (Vice) President".
I still don't understand why Huntsman hasn't gotten more traction. You can't sound sane and win the GOP nomination in this toxic atmosphere? Incredible. I don't like Romney, but then again I don't like the Republican party since they let the extreme fringe take over.
Can we have a caption contest for that picture....It sure looks like Romney got the love-on for Christie with that look on his face.
Vice President Christie or Cain ?
Pizza or Linguini ?
Well Romney and Christy are moderates in the field . Being as such, Romney has my vote unless Obama does something
There is no such thing as a fat Mormon.
Romney would be doing a lot better if he had 1/2 of Christie's charm
I guess Romney must be pretty lame then.
Christie really seems upset about the size of pie
Why is it CNN never discusses on the front page about voter oppression here in America? How many of the governors in the eastern states have pushed laws through that make it hard for some people to vote? How Perry has pushed through a bill using the “emergency congress” to stop certain people from voting. You would think this would make the front page. I would really appreciate a response.