Governor Christie's first act as chairman of the Republiucan Governor Associaton: a special guest for lunch.

Governor Chris Christie and wife Mary Pat at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Arizona (NBC)

And the governor came through with a big name: former President George W. Bush who has kep a low profile since leaving office in 2008. He was Christie's guest for a lunch at the  Phoenician Resort's J&G Steakhouse to celebrate his being elected the new chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

"Governor Christie asked President Bush to come surprise the governors at lunch and share some experiences from his time as Governor and President," according to a statement from Bush's office reports the Star-Ledger.

The Democrat Governors Association jumped on the choice chiding them for  "implementing the very same Bush-era economic policies that crushed the middle class for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans and major corporations." In a statement, the DGA hoped that the discussion never got past the weather "for the sake of the working families in their states,

Christie advisor Bill Palatucci said Christie and Bush "have a good relationship of mutual respect according to the Star Ledger.

Much of the RGA gathering is closed to the press. During a press conference, Christiue talked about his role as the group's new chairman. "My job is to go out there and elect and re-elect Republican governors, and that is going to be my sole focus over the next 11 months," Christie told reporters Thursday. He said Republican leaders "start thinking about 2016 at our own peril, or at worse at the peril of our own colleagues."

Forme President George W. Bush presents a painting he made of Jay Leno to the Tonight Show host (NBC)

Christie's name is in the mix for possible candidates for the 2016 presidential campaign and being chair gives him the opportunity to expand his fundraising base and to collect political "chips" But the governor says he is not thinking that far ahead. "2016 is a long way away and I'm two weeks out of a campaign," Christie said. "I'm not looking to start speculating about other campaigns already. I've got 2014 to deal with — that's what we're going to deal with."

Christie will be appearing at events in Vermont, Idaho and Oklahoma in the next month.

Bush, who is promoting his new book Decision Points, made a high profile appearance with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show earlier this week.



The Associated Press contributed to this report