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."
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"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.