New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie picked up an endorsement for president from fellow blue state, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland on Wednesday.
Outside the Double-T Diner in Annapolis, Hogan promised to “go anywhere and do anything” to help Christie --who has fallen towards the back of the emerging GOP field -- win the party's nomination. “My primary mission today is to officially and enthusiastically endorse Gov. Christie for president. I happen to believe he’s exactly the leader we need. I think he should be the next president and I think he will be the next president,” he said.
The endorsement makes sense, as Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association last year, was a big supporter of Hogan during his underdog bid for governor in 2014. Christie made four campaign stops in Maryland before the general election and the RGA shelled out $1.2 million on Hogan’s behalf during the final month of the race.
Christie has also shown support for Hogan—who was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma—since his win, sporting a “Hogan Strong” wristband on the campaign trail.
During the announcement, Hogan pointed to Christie’s loyalty, noting when “nobody believed in our race he came here four different times.” He also said Christie was the first to call him to offer advice and help when riots broke out in Baltimore over the spring and has offered him continued support as he battles cancer.
Speaking about his health, Hogan said “I feel great. I feel really good. They tell me it might not always be that way,” noting he underwent his first round of chemotherapy and has six more rounds to go. “I’m fighting this with everything I got,” he added.
After the announcement, Christie took questions from reporters and skewered the Iran nuclear deal announced by Obama on Tuesday. The governor argued the announcement was "just another in a series of lies that he's told the American people." He took particular issue with the nuclear inspection part of the agreement.
"When [Obama] said yesterday that inspections will happen in Iran anytime anywhere, the agreement itself undercuts the president’s position we want to inspect someplace in Iran, we have to give them notice, they could say no, it goes to an arbitration panel that they’re a part of and they have 24 days to make a decision, well if they’re playing around and cheating on this agreement and they have 24 days to clean up the evidence of the cheating. How’s that anytime anywhere Mr. President?" asked Christie.
He also took aim at Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton who has backed the deal. "Well you know, Secretary Clinton, I've said all along she owns the foreign policy of this administration. And now she owns the second term foreign policy of this administration as well even though she's left to run for president," declared Christie.
Earlier this month, Christie also received an endorsement from Maine Gov. Paul Le Page. Christie on Wednesday called the governors’ endorsement “incredibly important” because both LePage and Hogan are the leaders of political infrastructure of states and will be able to help raise money.
Separately, the super political action committee backing Christie’s presidential bid announced this week that it raised $11 million since February, a haul the group says is more than double its initial goal—but one that’s still significantly less than the candidate’s GOP competition.
Christie has a busy week ahead. On Thursday morning, he’ll go Camden, N.J. to deliver what’s being billed by the campaign as a major policy speech on criminal justice reform. Later that evening, he’ll be in New Hampshire, where he’ll hold a town hall meeting in Franklin and another one in Milford on Friday.