Christie: Was I supposed to wear my Romney sweatshirt?
June 21st, 2013
01:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Christie: Was I supposed to wear my Romney sweatshirt?

(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday continued to defend his appearance with President Barack Obama last year when the president came to survey the damage from Superstorm Sandy, just days before the presidential election

Critics decried the Republican governor for standing side-by-side with Obama, arguing Christie, who served as a top surrogate for GOP nominee Mitt Romney, helped bolster the president's image shortly before voters took to the polls.

But Christie stands by his decision.

"I said to some of my Republican friends in the aftermath of this, like well what did you expect me to do when the president showed up? Do you want me to wear my Romney sweatshirt when I was standing with him? What exactly did you expect me to do?" Christie said while keynoting a Washington conference on volunteering and service.

Since the storm plowed into his state at the end of October, Christie has become the face of New Jersey's recovery efforts. He sought federal relief aid and sharply rebuked Republicans in Congress who voted against the aid bill at the beginning of the year. (Congress later passed more than $50 billion in relief funds.)

Christie, who again embraced a visit by the president in May, reminded the audience that he did not vote for the president and has policy disagreements with Obama.

"But (whether) you voted for him or not, in this country we have one president at a time," he said, drawing applause from the audience.

Reflecting back to Obama's initial visit after the storm, Christie said it never crossed his mind "to act any other way" during the president's trip.

"I was elected to serve the people of the state of New Jersey, and the people of my state were in crisis, and anybody (who) competently came to help my people, I was going to say they've done a good job whether they were a Republican or a Democrat," he said.

Romney told CNN's Gloria Borger earlier this month that he has no hard feelings towards Christie. Asked if he blames the Republican governor at all for the final results, Romney repeatedly said "no."

"I wish the hurricane hadn't have happened when it did because it gave the president a chance to be presidential and to be out showing sympathy for folks," Romney said. "That's one of the advantages of incumbency. But, you know, you don't look back and worry about each little thing and how could that have been different."

In fact, Christie was invited to speak this month at a forum sponsored by Romney in Utah, where leading Republican donors gathered to discuss some of the issues facing the nation.

Pressed about Christie's 2016 potential, Romney said the Republican has proved he's been a "very effective" governor in dealing with the hurricane and working with a Democratic legislature in a left-leaning state.

"You have to look at Chris and say this is a guy who's been a very effective governor and has a great potential for leadership," Romney said.

- CNN's Alan Silverleib and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Chris Christie • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Jack Kieser

    Ok, I know this is supposed to be an article about Christie and all, and good on him for being a mature person, but...

    "I wish the hurricane hadn't have happened when it did because it gave the president a chance to be presidential and to be out showing sympathy for folks."

    Oh, really? You wish it hadn't happened because of how it boosted the President's numbers, NOT because of all of the death and destruction it caused? How great of you.

    June 21, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Leah

    Chris Christie is like a gluttonous binge on jelly doughnuts.

    Enough of him trying to get into NY's media circuit with saccharin soundbites. I think I'm going to barf if I see any more of him.

    June 21, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Christie went overboard, right before the election, and it was clear, he was kissing Obama's fanny, to help his state, and not just asking for help.

    June 21, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Tea Party Thomas

    Gov. Chris Christie = RINO.

    Go away Christie our party doesn't need the likes of you.

    June 21, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    I guess that he was supposed to "go Brewer", and start wagging a finger in his face as he chewed him out.

    June 21, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. JY

    "You have to look at Chris and say this is a guy who's been a very effective governor and has a great potential for leadership," Romney said.

    You bet!!!!

    My fellow jersey boy would likely get my vote in 2016.

    June 21, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yes, well, Christie has served my purposes. He stuck it to the Teatarded Rethugs when they least expected it by "palling" around with the Prez up and down the Jersey shore in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. Why, they looked lile school chums by the time it was all over, and Romney couldn't buy his way into Republican homeless shelter having had his pitbull Christie turn and befriend his master's enemy. Priceless.

    I will think about Christie if and when he is still around in 2024, if then.

    June 21, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Indyswimmer66

    Regardless of your politics, the President's the President. He stood next to the President in a crisis.

    June 21, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Mike Wallace

    Romney in a nutshell: ""I wish the hurricane hadn't have happened when it did"

    Doesn't care that the storm happened and was horrible; just wishes it had come later...

    June 21, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Another snooze article.

    June 21, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Boo

    Hey should listen to this guy. YOU MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING.

    June 21, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Wake up People!

    I'm with Big Boy here. What exactly was he supposed to do? I may not like Christie but he showed respect to the highest office in our nation, something the GOP has blatantly disregarded.

    And to all the idiots that believed the Fox polls, that think Hurricane Sandy was the reason for President Obama's reelection. Get a clue. Mitt lost and would have lost regardless. Half of the GOP didn't even like or trust him. And let's not forget his medical affliction...
    Hoof in mouth disease.

    June 21, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. anotherGDlefty

    You were supposed to do what my Gov Brewer did....wag your finger and scold him for being a (insert fantasy based insult here).......
    That is how the teatards roll Mr. Christie.
    Keep it up, this dem likes you working for your states betterment regardless of whos team you or your citizens play for..

    June 21, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Michael Benjamin

    Romney callous as ever. The hurricane wasn't a problem just the timing of it. Tell that to the people who lost everything. Of course when one is multi-millionaire with several homes and off shore accounts a major natural disaster is just s bump in the road.

    June 21, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. lottie

    Christie showed maturity something the repos usually lack. He did what was right for the people of Jersey. He should just tell the trolls to go suck eggs.

    June 21, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Data Driven

    Oh Chris, just drop the reactionary economic philosophy and join the Democratic Party. We criticize our leaders AFTER they become President. And even when we do provide constructive criticism, we don't HATE you while we're doing it.

    Leave the Dark Side, Chris.

    June 21, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. g

    what planet is romney from again

    June 21, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake up People!

    I'm with Big Boy here
    Lol! You just ain't right!

    June 21, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Wait a second. I thought they said that Romney lost because of Acorn and free stuff.

    Actually, Republicans are complete denial over the reasons why Romney lost. Being a weak candidate aside, Romney was falling in the polls before Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast. His sudden decline in the polls began with the release of the widely criticized Jeep ad, which everyone but the Romney campaign said went beyond being misleading.

    Instead of manning up to being caught lying, the Romney campaign initially defended the ad and then simply stopped talking about it, hoping that it would go away. The ad was released about 10 days prior to Sandy striking NJ. Enough time for the Jeep story to mature and for polls to be taken to measure public reaction.

    Lost in the headlines of Sandy hitting shore were the results of some of those polls, which showed Romney falling. Meanwhile, most of the right wing was relying on erroneous polling that showed Romney gaining ground. They've almost acknowledged that their own polling was in error, but they have yet to recognize that other polling that showed Romney losing ground days ahead of Sandy were accurate. The Jeep ad hurt Romney far more than they accept.

    June 21, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    Just to clarify: No doubt those who were most affected by Hurricane Sandy wish it hadn't happened at all.

    Beyond that, Mr. Christie is a boor who has perhaps reached his peak of revelance?

    June 21, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    June 21, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
    Mike Wallace

    Romney in a nutshell: ""I wish the hurricane hadn't have happened when it did"

    Doesn't care that the storm happened and was horrible; just wishes it had come later...
    Yeah Mike, I picked up on that as well. His syntax leaves a lot to be desired as well.
    He comes across as not only alixithemic but for all his wealth remarkably uneducated.

    June 21, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. tom l.

    So now it's okay to make fun of Christie for his weight? Wow. I guess as a liberal you can make fun of someone's physical chararcteristics of whomever you want if they are a republican. It's amazing to me. It's not nice. It's insensitive to millions of people who have weight problems, it's politically incorrect and it makes you a complete hypocrit.

    And you are not alone. Most of the liberals on these comments sections do exactly as you do and don't see how hypocritical it is.

    June 21, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. California Gary

    I guess he should have refused to meet with the POTUS and send word that he didn't need any stinking aid from the feds........just like the governor of Oklahoma did........oh turns out that when the disaster is in your own backyard, it's suddenly ok to get cozy with the feds.......government is good after all, but only when you have a need for it.

    June 21, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Guess

    I still think romney revealed alot about himself in the sandy ordeal, like his relief efforts. specifically the two boys he gave relief items to, had them get in line, and photo op himself taking the donation he just gave them, solid guy that mitt.

    June 21, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. rs

    Well, yeah! And, you forgot to call Obama a "socialist" for trying to help the citizens of your state!

    Get ver it. Romney lost because he wrote off 47% of Americans (ncluding virtually all of the elderly using ther Social Security, veterals using their VA benefits and so on) asthe "takers".
    Anyone that dumb or mean) simply didn't deserve to win.

    June 21, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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