Romney, Christie: One Big Party

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (C) speak with Romney's advisor Bob White (L) aboard the campaign bus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, on Oct. 10, 2012.

Photograph by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (C) speak with Romney’s advisor Bob White (L) aboard the campaign bus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, on Oct. 10, 2012.

Looks like the friendship is back on.

Mitt Romney is scheduled as a “special guest” at a 52nd birthday party in September for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, according to a message distributed by the New Jersey Republican State Committee.

Christie, if you’ll remember, took some shots from within the Republican Party for:

1) Suspending campaigning for Romney during the 2012 election contest after Hurricane Sandy ravaged his state’s coastline.

2) Warmly greeting President Barack Obama weeks before the election when he arrived in the Garden state to assay the damage.

On Election Day, Christie blamed reports of the tensions among “know-nothing” campaign staffers for the former Massachusetts governor looking to avoid blame for a potential loss. Romney for his part downplayed talk of any spat between the two.

“It’s another in a long line of indications that Mitt has no lingering issues,” Bill Palatucci, a Republican National Committeeman and close Christie adviser who is a co-host of the birthday party, said today by telephone.

“These guys genuinely have affection for each other; I saw it up close in the 2012 race. It’s been real and ongoing. These guys genuinely like each other and care for each other.”

With Christie traveling the country raising millions for the Republican Governors Association and weighing a campaign for president in 2016, and some within the party suggesting that Romney make another run for it, that friendship could still be tested down the road.

Romney, who is being mentioned as a potentially resurgent 2016 White House candidate after failing last time around, is scheduled to appear at the $150 a person fundraiser Sept. 10 at the Hilton East Brunswick. Those who aren’t attending also have the option of paying $15 to sign Christie’s birthday card or $75 to include a message.

Christie has run competitively in a number of recent polls showing a crowded GOP field with no clear front-runner, even as he fends off the biggest controversy of his tenure over the decision by allies to close local-access lanes last September at the George Washington Bridge in an apparently political act of retribution.

 

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