JERUSALEM (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told an Israeli TV interviewer Sunday that President Barack Obama deserves praise for his efforts to help his state recover from Superstorm Sandy, but he is still going to vote for Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Christie, a leading Romney surrogate, delivered the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention. Last week, he toured New Jersey's battered shore towns with Obama and discussed recovery assistance. The two embraced and had words of praise for each other's efforts to relieve the misery the superstorm brought to New Jersey residents — a rare display of bipartisanship during a bitter election campaign that has left the country deeply polarized.
"Honestly the fact of the matter is that what New Jerseyans expect from their governor is to work for them, not to work for any particular political party," Christie said in an interview from New Jersey broadcast on Israel's Channel 2 TV, which had sent one of its main anchors to report on the presidential campaign and storm aftermath.
But Christie insisted that nothing that happened has caused him to waver in his commitment to Romney.
"I'm a Republican, I've endorsed Mitt Romney and I support him. I intend to vote for him on Tuesday," Christie said. "But the fact of the matter is that if the President of the United States comes here and he is willing to help my people, and he does it, then I'm going to say nice things about him because he's earned it."
"And I've said plenty of not-nice things about the president over time — he knows that. And we joked about that when we were together this week," Christies said.