Chris Christie: “I’ll be here to welcome” Obama when he comes to tour the NJ coast again next week
posted at 3:21 pm on May 24, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
“If the president wants to come back here and see the progress himself, I never worry about that stuff,” Christie said Friday morning on NBC’s “Today.” “I worry about doing my job.” …
“The bottom line is you can’t experience the way you’re experiencing it right now unless you’re here and you see it for yourself,” Christie said. “The fact of the matter is he’s president of the United States and if he wants to see the people of New Jersey, I’m the governor and I’ll be here to welcome him.” …
Christie is on the shore Friday to re-open the area to tourists. Obama is scheduled to visit the state next Tuesday to view the ongoing recovery efforts, meet with businesses and home owners aided by the recovery efforts and speak about the importance of expanding the middle class, according to a White House official.
Of course, any governor will always be there to welcome any president to their state, but in this context, let’s be real: A chance for a presidential pal-around is just gravy for Christie’s already very comfortable reelection bid, and I’d bet on him embracing it as such. He’ll likely be a bit more reserved after all of the national conservative backlash, but their post-Hurricane Sandy buddy-buddiness last year played over beautifully in blue New Jersey — which took a hard left for President Obama in the presidential election — and some photo-ops with the president will not only pair well with the “compromise” theme his campaign has been hitting but also draw attention to the fact that the Jersey Shore is reopening for fun-summertime business this weekend and his relevant gubernatorial prowess.
The bad news here is for Christie’s Democrat challenger Barbara Buono; her camp has been hoping against hope to make some inroads into Gov. Christie’s robust state popularity, but a hangout with O will only make that all the harder for them.
While another bipartisan love-fest could only mean good things for both Republican Christie and Obama, it isn’t quite as good for Christie’s Democratic opponent State Sen. Barbara Buono, who is struggling to sustain a credible challenge to Christie’s gubernatorial re-election bid. …
For its part, the Buono campaign is keeping it classy.
“We’re glad the president is coming to see the rebuilding of the shore and to support the thousands of families and businesses who are still recovering after Sandy,” Buono communications director David Turner said.