Christie allegedly rejected request to appear at Romney rally

Posted Nov 6, 2012 by JohnThomas Didymus
According to media reports, Gov. Christie of New Jersey, who recently praised Obama's response to the Hurricane Sandy devastation in his state, reportedly turned down a request to appear at a Romney campaign rally on Sunday night in Pennsylvania.
President Obama  NJ Gov. Chris Christie Tour Superstorm Sandy s Devastation
President Obama, NJ Gov. Chris Christie Tour Superstorm Sandy's Devastation
Screengrab / ABC
According to The Huffington Post, Romney held a rally at a farm in Morrisville, Pa., just about 20 minutes from Trenton, the capital of New Jersey. Christie reportedly received an invitation but failed to appear.
The fact that the Romney campaign event was very close to New Jersey raised questions in the Romney campaign why Christie refused to come. It also raised more questions about why he went out of his way to praise Obama effusively when he visited New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.
The Huffington Post reports that a Romney campaign source, said: "You can't tell me he couldn't have gone over there for a night rally."
According to The Huffington Post, at the Sunday night rally, Romney praised Christie for his handling of the storm, saying Christie gave "it all of his heart and his passion to help the people of his state. They're in a hard way, and we appreciate his hard work. Thank you, governor."
Christie had a close relationship with Romney before he chose his running mate. Christie's name was widely mentioned in Romney's campaign circle as the Republican presidential candidate's first choice, but instead, Paul Ryan emerged as Romney's running mate.
Christie, whose keynote address at the Republican National Convention was considered by many a "disappointment," had been scheduled to play a role in the final part of Romney's campaign before Hurricane Sandy hit his state hard.
The Washington Post reports that Christie dismissed critics, who accused him of helping Obama win reelection with effusive praises, saying:
"[If] anybody is upset in the Republican Party about this, then they haven’t been to New Jersey. Come see the destruction, come see the loss, and then tell me if you’re going to still criticize me for complimenting somebody who is the President of the United States and who has provided help to my people during one of the worst crises this state has ever faced.”
The Huffington Post reports that a Christie aide, defending Christie's absence at the Morrisville event, noted that New Jersey still has more than 700,000 people without power and the state is still rationing gasoline. The aide said there is still massive flooding in parts of the state and many residents remain displaced. The aide told The Huffington Post: "The entire shore is devastated. And if you're here on the ground, you have an appreciation of how tough it is. All in all, it's a lot of things that require focus. We're moving toward sort of a new normal here in New Jersey. The governor's been pretty clear that his number one priority is the safety and security of New Jerseyans and all his efforts are focused on Hurricane Sandy recovery right now."
According to a report by The Huffington Post, over the weekend, while President Obama spoke to Christie on phone about Sandy issues, he handed the phone over to Bruce Springsteen who was with him on his campaign trip. Christie considers himself a big fan of Springsteen, having attended "hundreds of his concerts."
Christie was deeply moved by the call, during which Springsteen thanked Christie for his work in New Jersey in the aftermath of Sandy.
Christie, starstruck, wept after his idol spoke to him on phone. He described his phone conversation with Springsteen as a major "highlight during a tough week."
Mediaite in its comment on the issue, defended Christie's decision not to attend the Romney campaign event, saying:
"The fact that Romney would even ask such a thing is offensive, and his campaign’s response to Gov. Christie’s refusal is despicable. If you don’t live in New Jersey, it’s impossible to understand just how completely this storm has disrupted everything in the state. A hundred miles away from the shore, there are still gas lines and empty store shelves, residents without power, evacuees with nowhere to go, and we are the lucky ones. Regardless of how you feel about Governor Christie, the sheer elbow grease he has put into his response to the storm has been self-evident. That Mitt Romney thinks Gov. Christie is obliged to drop everything to campaign for him should hurt him politically, whether Christie intends it to or not."
Meanwhile, CNN reports that a "Christie confidante," Bill Palatuccie, has denied that Christie received invitation from Romney. Mediaite reports that The Huffington Post's Jon Ward, who reported the story, says he stands by his reporting.