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2012: A Big Year For New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie updates members of the media on damage and recovery efforts related to Superstorm Sandy on October 30, 2012 in Ewing, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie updates members of the media on damage and recovery efforts related to Superstorm Sandy on October 30, 2012 in Ewing, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — From public squabbles with detractors to kudos after Superstorm Sandy, what a year 2012 has been for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

As Steve Scott reported, WCBS 880 reporter Peter Haskell has been covering Christie throughout the year, and he became a highly influential figure in the presidential campaign back in January.

WCBS 880’s Steve Scott Reports

“Christie campaigned with Romney in New Hampshire and was very effective,” Haskell said. “He was seen as a brash and dynamic counterpoint to Romney’s more staid personality, and while critics had said that Romney was pliable and Romney really didn’t believe in anything, Christie had the opposite reputation as someone who said exactly what he thought, and that really made Christie one of the more prominent surrogates for Romney,” Haskell said.

With that, Christie became very much in demand all over the country.

“Not only was he a top surrogate for Romney, but he was campaigning for Republicans in every corner of the country – in gubernatorial races, Senate races, House races. He was in the Northwest, the Midwest, California and every part of this country,” Haskell said. “People felt that Chris Christie was a credible surrogate – if he said they were a good guy, and they were a good guy or woman.”

As the weather heated up during the summer, so did Christie’s temper, which got hot at times.

“Christie certainly has a reputation and says right upfront that he always says what he thinks,” Haskell said. “There was an encounter with a reporter that wasn’t the first where he got into it, and basically called a reporter stupid and idiotic – and again, that wasn’t the first time. And then there was video captured on the boardwalk at Seaside – the stout governor, ice cream in hand, really shouting at someone questioning him and said, ‘Hey, you’re a big shot,’ and that got a lot of attention.”

On that occasion in July, Christie was being heckled by a bystander apparently tossed off some comments about the governor’s education policy.

“You’re a real big shot, you’re a real big shot shooting your mouth off,” Christie shouted at the man.

“Just take care of the teachers,” the man retorted.

Christie walks towards the man and warns him to “keep walking away.”

Of course, Christie’s among most prominent moments in 2012 were his actions in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the Jersey Shore and many other parts of the state.

In the wake of the storm, Christie earned the highest approval rating of any New Jersey governor in history. While maintaining his endorsement of Romney, he united with President Barack Obama for efforts to get help for the devastated state.

Following the storm, Christie earned the highest approval rating of any New Jersey governor in history.

What do you think of Christie’s performance this year? Leave your comments below…