By Michael Aron
NJ Today Chief Political Correspondent
Gov. Chris Christie was on storm battered Long Beach Island this morning announcing preparations for today’s nor’easter. When it came time for press questions, he was immediately asked if he thought his figurative embrace of President Obama last week had any effect on the election result.
“First of all, I wouldn’t call what I did embrace Barack Obama. I know that’s become the wording of it. But the fact of the matter is I’m a guy who tells the truth all the time. If the president of the United States does something good, I was going to say he did something good and give him credit for it,” Christie said. “But it doesn’t take away for a minute the fact that I was the first governor in America to endorse Mitt Romney, that I traveled literally tens of thousands of miles for him.”
How did he feel watching Romney come up short? “Listen, I’m extraordinarily disappointed. I put a lot of time and effort into the Mitt Romney campaign. I was surprised that it ended as quickly as it did but that’s the way it goes. People decide elections,” Christie said. “So my job as an elected official is to move forward after that. I’m not going to spend a lot of time looking in my rear view mirror. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s not productive for the people who’ve elected me.”
Christie said he knows Romney is hurting today and he plans to send him an e-mail. “I have great respect for him. I consider him a good, good friend,” he said. “I hope that he continues to be a voice in public life in our country because I think he’s a good and decent man.”
The governor called reports of problems caused by last minute e-mail and fax balloting scattered and anecdotal and said he’s satisfied with how the counting of those ballots will take place.
Christie sounded genuinely disappointed that Romney lost the election. As for his own future, he said with a nor’easter barreling down on the state he has more immediate things on his mind.
“Politics becomes much smaller when you’re dealing with life and death issues,” he said. “It just does.”
And he invoked his late mother who knew early on she had an ambitious boy on her hands. “And she used to say to me all the time, ‘Christopher, first thing’s first. Do the job you have in front of you as well as you can and your future will take care of itself,’” Christie said.