New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday slammed the “know-nothing, disgruntled Romney staffers” who in a Huffington Post story on Monday accused him of snubbing Mitt Romney by skipping Sunday’s rally in Pennsylvania.
Christie, a vocal backer of Romney, said during a press conference that he told the Republican presidential nominee before Hurricane Sandy hit that he would likely be unavailable for the rest of the campaign.
“I said to him, ‘Listen, Mitt, if this storm hits the way I think it’s going to, I’m off the campaign trail from here to Election Day,’ ” Christie recalled. “And he said to me, ‘Chris, of course. That’s what you have to do. Do your job. Don’t worry about me. I’ll take care of things.’ So all this other noise, I think, is coming from know-nothing, disgruntled Romney staffers who, you know, don’t like the fact that I said nice things about the president of the United States. Well, that’s too bad for them.”
The Huffington Post reported on Monday that Christie turned down a request to appear with Romney at a Sunday-night rally in Morrisville, Pa., a short drive across the Delaware River from Trenton, N.J. Christie’s decision reportedly irked some members of Romney’s team.
“You can’t tell me he couldn’t have gone over there for a night rally,” an unnamed Romney aide told the Huffington Post.
But Gail Gitcho, a Romney campaign spokeswoman, told the Globe on Monday that Romney did not feel slighted by Christie’s absence.
“He’s always invited to attend our events,” Gitcho said. “We reached out to his staff to let them know that we would be in the area campaigning, but we never expected him to come because [he] is dealing with Sandy recovery.”
Christie added on Tuesday that Romney “told me last Sunday night that he expected no other political travel or help from me over the course of the remaining time between then and the election.”
Christie, who was the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention in August, said that if Sandy had missed his state, he “would have been happy to go out on the road and help [Romney].”Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.