NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Late Tuesday afternoon, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie endorsed Mitt Romney to be the Republican presidential nominee — and he minced no words about why.
“I’m here in New Hampshire today for one simple reason. America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is the man we need to lead America and we need him now,” Christie said.
In his trademark cut-to-the-chase style, Christie endorsed Romney for president, a move seen as adding to and creating the sense that establishment Republicans see Romney as their best hope to return to power in Washington.
Christie blasted President Obama as the “can’t do” candidate.
“The President of the United States unleashed his campaign strategy already and that is to divide America; tell Americans who are not doing well right now, who are scared … he wants to tell them that the pie of America is only so big and if you want more we have to take it form others,” Christie said.
Christie then anointed Romney as the “can do” candidate.
“I know that Mitt Romney believes that the American pie can be grown bigger that it can be an infinite size because of the nature of American ingenuity and effort and character,” Christie said.
Christie’s endorsement came just a week after he took himself out of contention and just hours before a closely watched debate in New Hampshire, scheduled for Tuesday night.
A new poll has Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts, as well ahead in New Hampshire. Romney leads the GOP pack with 44 percent of the vote, followed by Herman Cain and Ron Paul with 13 percent. All the rest are in single digits.
Romney later returned Christie’s love.
“I have behind me an American hero. He’s been battling to reign in the excesses of the government in New Jersey. He’s a real hero in Republican circles,” Romney said.
Both Gov. Christie and Romney took shots at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose supporters tried to use Romney’s Mormon religion against him. Christie said that using religion as a campaign issue is beneath the Office of President of the United States.
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