Christie welcomes Obama with open arms
May 24th, 2013
08:28 AM ET
1 year ago

Christie welcomes Obama with open arms

Washington (CNN) - Republican Gov. Chris Christie doesn't have politics on his mind ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to his state next week.

Unsurprisingly the New Jersey firebrand said he is focused on his job as governor and will welcome Obama to the state roughly seven months after superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast.



"If the president wants to come back here and see the progress himself, I never worry about that stuff," Christie said Friday morning on NBC's "Today." "I worry about doing my job."

The first-term governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate received national criticism after he appeared with the president shortly before the November 2012 election. At the time Christie, a supporter for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Obama met with storm victims and toured the wreckage. But Christie dismissed a question about how the president's upcoming trip could impact his political future.

"The bottom line is you can't experience the way you're experiencing it right now unless you're here and you see it for yourself," Christie said. "The fact of the matter is he's president of the United States and if he wants to see the people of New Jersey, I'm the governor and I'll be here to welcome him."

The often blunt Christie is up for re-election this November and is the current frontrunner. His approval ratings skyrocketed after the storm and he currently has a two-to-one advantage over his Democratic challenger in the most recent surveys.

Christie is on the shore Friday to re-open the area to tourists. Obama is scheduled to visit the state next Tuesday to view the ongoing recovery efforts, meet with businesses and home owners aided by the recovery efforts and speak about the importance of expanding the middle class, according to a White House official.

The president's visit comes as Oklahoma is only starting to rebuild after a massive tornado hit there this week. Christie was embroiled in a political fight over federal assistance after Sandy and has since said Oklahoma should receive the federal funding it needs.

"Americans need to help other Americans when we're in trouble," Christie said. "We never support irresponsible spending ... everything that's necessary to help them absolutely and should be done quickly."

– CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2013 • 2016 • Chris Christie • New Jersey • President Obama • Superstorm Sandy
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    This visit should get the hyper right all fired up, for sure. I can hear them already bemoaning wasting tax dollars aboard Air Force One. And, of course, the usual character attacks, conspiracy theories, predictions of doom.

    May 24, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  2. Daniel Martin

    Govenor Chtistie and P res Obama are models if how government should function; not for political parties but for the welfare of the people.

    May 24, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  3. MaryM

    Run for POTUS Gov Christi. In fact, I suggest you run as an independent since the repubs did not want anything to do with you at CPAC. You can win without them

    May 24, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Unsurprisingly the New Jersey firebrand said he is focused on his job as governor and will welcome Obama to the state roughly seven months after superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast."

    Well, Barack Obama IS the President of the United States, CNN. Would your pundits rather that Christy throw a hissy fit and refuse to acknowledge him simply based on politics?

    The problem with CNN courting the Tea Party folks is that in its eagerness to get the Rove and the Koch brothers big dollar ad revenue coming CNNs way (and setting aside the 501 IRS controversy of what is or is not a political non profit organization) CNN actually had to lower itself to the level of TeaParty foot stamping childishness. This in itself ought to wipe the smug looks off each and everyone of CNNs political journalists.

    While the TeaParty thrives on back and forth non stop anti-Obama bashing, the rest of Americans do not.

    May 24, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  5. Colorado

    He is going to get in trouble for being nice to POTUS. the Tea Party will give him hell. Come over to the Dems Gov there is plenty of room here for you and your ideas.

    May 24, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  6. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    President Obama was elected by the majority of American voters, so if you don't respect him you don't respect the American people and don't belong in goverment . Christi and mc Cain should be the only two gop left after the next elections, the rest of the gop is worthless or less. Fire the gop losers!!!!!

    May 24, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  7. Doc1

    Christi is the epitome of a northesterner. When it's time to get something done, the esoteric stuff falls by the wayside. He won't ever be President, but I sure as heck hope he runs for the Senate.

    Sincerely,
    Independent whom you finally won over

    May 24, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    It seems that the hyper right feels that the proper way for a Republican governer to welcome Pres. Obama on the tarmac is to follow the Brewer model. Wag your finger in his face.

    May 24, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. Ed1

    Just think one more trip and you and your family will win an all expense paid trip to anywhere you would like to go you will have earned it with all the hard work you are doing.

    Just to make sure Rudy NYC is happy it will be of course be at the tax payers expense again.

    May 24, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. Hmmm

    I guess it's true, CSPAN is going to launch its first sitcom, the remake of " The Odd Couple"

    May 24, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. ghostriter

    Lynda, I am starting to think you are right. CNN must be trying to get the conservative dollars. You would need devere brain damage to think as these conservative nutbags do.

    May 24, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  12. Randyb1280

    I am independent, but voted for Obama because I didn't want any more wars. Christie, though, is a Republican I might cross over for.

    May 24, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. ghostriter

    Darn it, I am starting to like Christie. Something about a guy who speaks his mind. If he sticks to his guns and doesn't start going all Romney to win, I could holla at him.

    May 24, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. eddale

    Mr. President my home State welcomes you.

    May 24, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  15. coyote

    the absence of foreplay is a NJ trait. what you see is what you get. people who put so much emphasis on "party" scare the average voter, for surely the party will dictate policy and its the people who are supposed to do that. I like Christie, then again I liked Obama until Libya...and health care, and ...mostly Libya, I can always opt out of health care. OH and the two people I knew that had tummy banding done... neither was free of real personality defects in the area of over aggression. One an ex IRS employee who used a technicality to cheat in our sales environment, and one who was off the charts in OCD. so ... that bothers me more than a plane landing and a visit to the beach.

    May 24, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. CosmicC

    I like Christie's approach in many ways. I disagree with his ideology across the board.

    May 24, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. joshua446

    The article state "The first-term governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate received national criticism after he appeared with the president shortly before the November 2012 election". This is not a true statement. Only the right wind nut jobs criticized the Governor. The rest of the country praised his actions and the way he handled the crisis.

    If Governor Christie is elected as our next President the country will be better off.

    May 24, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    ghostriter

    Lynda, I am starting to think you are right. CNN must be trying to get the conservative dollars. You would need devere brain damage to think as these conservative nutbags do.
    -------–

    I have no idea what is happening at CNN anymore than I can understand what is happening in the GOP. It's frustrating watching both CNN and the GOP grovel to what amounts to nothing but bickering and sandbox theatre. I expect our American media AND our political party's to work together for the betterment of America. Which is why I can't say that I am willing to give Christy too much credit for working with Obama for the good of New Jersey. As far as I am concerned, this should be a given: that the two men work together.

    Given the TeaParty culture in America, I will give Chris Christie a pat on the shoulder. It's his reputation within his own party he is playing with. For that I do respect him.

    May 24, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. Alex in NJ

    Anyone saying that there is plenty of room for Governor Christie in the Democratic Party is either lying or doesn't know much about him. The Democrats do not cast a wide tent, and as soon as he tried to crack down on federal unions, lower taxes on businesses, eliminate government waste, the Democrats would be foaming at the mouth, and wouldn't be able to get the word, "extremist," out fast enough.

    May 24, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Megan

    This democrat may possibly vote for him. Maybe it's time we had somebody that cares less about his reputation and more about getting the job done.

    May 24, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |