Chris Christie has been under fire from Republican insiders ever since he he performed a U-turn and started praising Barack Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy last week.
And now the governor of New Jersey has lashed out at anonymous aides to Mitt Romney who have criticised him for refusing to attend fundraising events for the GOP presidential candidate.
The outspoken figure, a strong supporter of Romney over the past year, described his critics as ‘know-nothing, disgruntled Romney supporters’ who did not respect the duty he owed to the people of his state.
Yesterday it was revealed that Christie had been asked to appear with Romney at a campaign event in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, just 20 minutes away from the New Jersey state capital, Trenton.
The governor refused, leading to criticism from anonymous aides to the presidential candidate, one of whom said, ‘You can’t tell me he couldn’t have gone over there for a night rally.’
At a press conference today, Christie said that he told Romney before Sandy hit that he would be unable to continue campaigning ‘if the storm landed as predicted’.
He continued: ‘I said to him, “Listen, Mitt, if this storm hits the way I think it’s going to, I’m off the campaign trail from here to Election Day.”
‘And he said to me, “Chris, of course. Do your job, don’t worry about me. I’ll take care of things.”‘
Christie did not blame Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, for the criticism of him, saying: ‘He’s been a governor – he knows.’
Instead, he added: ‘All this other noise, I think, is coming from know-nothing, disgruntled Romney staffers who, you know, don’t like the fact that I said nice things about the president of the United States. Well, that’s too bad for them.’
Christie accompanied Obama on a tour of the Jersey Shore in the aftermath of the devastating storm, and publicly thanked the President for the attention he has paid to the region affected by Sandy.
He lashed out whenever he was asked about the storm’s political impact, and several times insisted he no longer wanted to be involved in the run-up to the election.
Christie’s sudden disavowal of electoral politics came as something of a surprise, as he had been one of Romney’s most vocal and pugnacious supporters ever since he first endorsed him in October 2011.
He has confirmed that he still plans to vote for the Republican candidate, and said in Tuesday’s press conference that he would have continued to campaign for him if Sandy had not hit his state so badly.
‘If it missed us, I would have been happy to go out on the road and help him,’ Christie said. ‘But it didn’t.’
For his part, Romney lavished praise on the New Jersey governor for his hard work helping to restore the state.
During the Pennsylvania rally, he said Christie was ‘giving it all of his heart and his passion to help the people of his state’, adding: ‘We appreciate his hard work. Thank you, governor.’
Read more: DAILY MAIL