He Outraged Many Republicans, but Kamala Harris Hails Christie Action
The warm welcome that Gov. Chris Christie gave to President Barack Obama in the 2012 aftermath of Superstorm Sandy was called up as model behavior by Vice President Kamala Harris, in a White House session with current Gov. Phil Murphy and the National Governors Association on Monday.
“You are leaders who don’t throw up your hands — instead you have all rolled up your sleeves,” Harris said in remarks, shortly after Murphy helped open the meeting as Vice Chairman of the association.
“It is, historically, a very important relationship between any presidential administration regardless of party affiliation and the governors of the states that bring that type, kind of sense of assurity and stability to the people that we represent as a country,” Harris said, before giving three examples of bipartisan milestone moments.
After noting the passage of the Child Health Insurance Program during the Clinton administration and cooperative efforts of governors in the wake of the 9/11 attacks during the Bush administration, Harris mentioned Sandy recovery during “the Obama and Biden administration.”
“I am reminded of the work that happened during Hurricane Sandy - when in the Obama and Biden administration working together with the then governor of New Jersey - Chris Christie - in the height of a very contested presidential election, broke through that and worked in a bipartisan way to bring relief to the people of that state,” Harris said.
"When you have the responsibility that I have, it's much bigger than politics," Christie said in 2012 about his interaction with Obama following the storm, just days away from the president's re-election in his face-off with Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
Christie continued "When it comes to getting things done, I don't care what party somebody's in."
A supposed hug on the tarmac between the two has been panned, in particular, by critics — though Fox News commentator Greta Van Susteren later questioned the term for what appeared to be a handshake.
"There are some people that are annoyed about it, I think they're being somewhat narrow and not realizing — a governor has a first obligation to the people of his state," Rudy Giuliani said to Piers Morgan on CNN in November 2012.