Two Republican governors happy to embrace Christie on campaign trail
February 24th, 2014
03:44 PM ET
8 months ago

Two Republican governors happy to embrace Christie on campaign trail

Washington (CNN) - Two Republican governors up for re-election this year said Monday they would appear publicly with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie if he came to their states and helped them campaign.

Gov. Nikki Haley, who lives in the crucial presidential primary state of South Carolina, said there are no plans in the books for Christie–the chairman of the Republican Governors Association–to come to her state, but added she expects a visit "at some point."

"I would be incredibly proud to let everybody know that he supports (me), as well as say he's my friend," Haley said a press conference for the RGA at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, adding that she would be happy to appear with any of her fellow Republican governors.

The RGA chairman usually speaks at the RGA press conference, but Christie left Washington early to celebrate his daughter's birthday and prepare for his major budget address Tuesday. His lack of presence, however, fueled speculation that he didn't want to face questions about the traffic scandal that has roiled his administration.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam also said he would appear with Christie.

"If Chris made it down, we would love to have him," he said. "He's actually talked about coming to Tennessee sometime this summer or fall, but there's no definite plan now."

A large part of Christie's job as chairman is to travel to different states and help raise funds that go towards backing Republican incumbents and candidates for governor.

Most of his events have been kept private, and Democrats are quick to argue that Republicans don't want to be seen publicly with the governor, as his administration is tainted by the George Washington Bridge scandal.

When Christie was fundraising in Texas earlier this year, he was nowhere close to the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee, Attorney General Greg Abbott. And while he fundraised with Gov. Rick Scott of Florida last month, they appeared together only at private events.

Bill Brady, a GOP gubernatorial hopeful in Illinois, however, was happy to attend one of Christie's public events in Chicago this month. And Bruce Rauner, the frontrunner in the race for the GOP nomination, was expected to meet in private with Christie that day.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, vice chairman of the RGA, defended Christie Monday, saying the recent controversy isn't affecting the chairman's ability to lead.

Jindal said Christie should keep his chairmanship and highlighted that the RGA is doing well - since Christie took over in November, the organization has brought in $18 million - but he added the RGA is "not just about the chairman."

"It's about its 29 governors," he continued. "Chris has said he's taking responsibility, he's going to cooperate with every investigation. What more can you do at this point?"

A state legislative committee and the U.S. Attorney's Office are investigating whether Christie's top aides orchestrated a traffic jam at the foot of the George Washington Bridge as an act of political payback against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, who didn't endorse Christie's reelection bid last year.

Christie has repeatedly denied having any involvement or knowledge of the alleged plot.


Filed under: 2014 • Bill Haslam • Chris Christie • Nikki Haley • RGA
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Oh, I get it now. The current RGA chairman is not in attendance, so the former RGA chairman steps up to the microphone.

    February 24, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Of the 29 governors, 2 are happy to embrace Krispy.

    February 24, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    They have to stress this because many GOBP wingnut governors ducked Christie lately when he came to their towns.

    February 24, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The RGA chairman usually speaks at the RGA press conference, but Christie left Washington early to celebrate his daughter's birthday and prepare for his major budget address Tuesday.
    -------------------------
    There's nothing wrong with being a father to his daughter, but at some point sacrifices will have to be made. It has something to do with that being a "public servant" stuff.

    February 24, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The worst the GOP has to offer is a GOP govenor !!!!!!

    February 24, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The GOP governors SUCK on the state level, perry , jindal, McDonald and all the rest of the red state governors and then there's walker who keep telling you their states are doing great, but I think we will ask their residents that have NO healthcare , low wages and no education how they ARE REALLY DOING????? Oh USA, I forgot the convicted felon SCOTT of Florida , a one termer.

    February 24, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Ol' Yeller

    Yes, yes... he is not scheduled to come to my state and last I knew he was not even aware their were two Carolinas, but should his plane wreck here on a flyover to Florida, I would be more than happy to do a photo op with him, barring the abscence of any impeachment or felony charges that is. Ha!
    "I would be incredibly proud to let everybody know that he supports (me), as well as say he's my friend," Haley said (at) a press conference "
    Notice the ringing endorsement... How about letting everybody know that YOU support HIM?
    crickets

    February 24, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Gov. Nikki Haley, who lives in the crucial presidential primary state of South Carolina ..."

    Well, OK. Crucial isn't exactly how I would word it, but yeah, I guess it could be considered as such for GOPerville. It will be interesting watching Haley's chances of re-election in such a "crucial" presidential state.

    February 24, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Rafael 51

    Christie is the most Democrat Republican and Democrats hate him. The only Republican willing to work with Obama and Democrats hate him. The only Republican compromising and Democrats hate him. So I say to Christie keep doing what you r doing no matter what you gonna get your haters. Christie 2016

    February 24, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "What more can you do at this point?""

    Sharpen our pitchforks.

    February 24, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Sounds more like we have no problem with Christie, but e are not uniting him to any parties.

    February 24, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    That should read uniting not uniting

    February 24, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |