New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been taking flak from the right (including some in Romney-world) since last week for having appeared in public with President Obama and praised the federal response to Hurricane Sandy. Speaking at an event today, Christie had this to say in his own defense, and about the GOP's future prospects:
I wouldn’t call what I did an embrace of Barack Obama. I know that’s become the wording of it, but the fact of the matter is, you know, I’m a guy who tells the truth all the time. And if the president of the United States did something good, I was gonna say he did something good and give him credit for it. But it doesn’t take away for a minute from the fact that I was the first governor to endorse Mitt Romney, that I traveled literally tens of thousands of miles for him, raised tens of millions of dollars for him and worked harder, I think, than any other surrogate in America other than Paul Ryan, and he was running mate.
So I don’t know what effect it has. I think – listen, I’m looking forward. As a party, we have to look forward to what our challenges are in the future. This election is over, so we have to look toward the next challenges. And the next set of challenges are, for the Republican Party, the Republican governors are going to be the folks who lead our country. You know, we’ve added to the ranks of Republican governors last night. We came into the night with 29. We have 30 right now and votes still being counted in Montana and Washington, where we might add one or two more. And I’m going to continue to work with folks like the Republican governors I work with across the country, to try to make sure that our perspective and our philosophy and our point of view and our record of accomplishment is highlighted for the public.The rest of that stuff, I don’t know, you’ll have to go to a political scientist to project on that stuff. But my job is to do my job and that’s my most important thing. And I did my job every day, and I think as a supporter of Gov. Romney I did my job there too.
The race in Montana has been called for Democrat Steve Bullock and the Democratic candidate is ahead in Washington, so it's likely that the only movement in the 2012 gubernatorial elections is a Republican pickup in North Carolina. Christie's larger point, that the leadership of the party will shift further to the states after last night's setbacks in the presidential and Senate races, is one that other national Republicans have been making today