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Chris Christie gets coveted NH union-leader endorsement

It's a boost in a critical state for Christie where he is spending a considerable amount of time and resources.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won the coveted endorsement from the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the state's biggest newspaper and an important voice in the state's primary.

It's a boost in a critical state for Christie where he is spending a considerable amount of time and resources.

"Chris Christie is a solid, pro-life conservative who has managed to govern in liberal New Jersey, face down the big public unions, and win a second term," wrote Joseph McQuaid, the newspaper's publisher. "Gov. Christie can work across the aisle, but he won't get rolled by the bureaucrats."

McQuaid will be on NBC's "Meet The Press" Sunday morning to talk about their decision.

In the endorsement, there were obvious jabs at Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who have captured much of the national spotlight in recent weeks.

"We don't need another fast-talking, well-meaning freshman U.S. senator trying to run the government. We are still seeing the disastrous effects of the last such choice."

They also clearly dismissed Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina for their lack of time in elected office, writing, "We don't need as president some well-meaning person from the private sector who has no public experience."

The Union-Leader endorsement is one of the most coveted publication endorsements of the election, and the paper's editorial page remains a powerful voice among many conservatives in the state.

The news serves as a jolt into a campaign that has experienced ups and downs in the last few weeks. Christie gained widespread acclaim when a viral video surfaced of him in New Hampshire telling a story about losing a friend to drug addiction, but soon after he was relegated to an earlier debate due to low national poll numbers.

Christie is currently polling at 7th place in New Hampshire with 5.3 percent, according to the latest Real Clear Politics average.

The New Jersey governor has spent a considerable amount of time in New Hampshire, almost more than any other candidate running for president, according to the NECN candidate tracker.

He is known in the state for his in-depth answers at his numerous "Tell It Like It Is" town halls at restaurants, bars, and community halls around the state.

Christie has done 35 of these town halls in New Hampshire, most lasting well over two hours.

Just last Saturday in Stratham, several people were brought to tears at a few different moments during one of those town halls, when Christie was telling a story about his family's experience on 9/11, and again when he told a familiar trail story about what he learned from the death of his mother.

The Union-Leader endorsement doesn't always signal a strong finish in the state or in the quest for the nomination.

After the paper endorsed Newt Gingrich in the 2012 primary, Gingrich saw a boost in the polls, but ultimately finished 4th in the primary. The paper endorsed John McCain in 2008, adding some life to his campaign that was deemed dead months earlier.

The paper supported Pete Dupont in 1988, Pat Buchanan in 1992 and 1996, and Steve Forbes in 2000 — none of whom went on to win the GOP nomination. But they picked a winner when they chose Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The endorsement comes at around the same time of their announcement in 2011 for the 2012 primary, but it's relatively earlier this year since the 2016 primary is not expected to be until February.

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