Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Calls N.J. 'Romney Country'

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Calls N.J. 'Romney Country'

Article excerpt

WOODBRIDGE -- Governor Christie stood alongside Mitt Romney before a $50,000-a-plate fundraising dinner on Tuesday and predicted that New Jersey is "going to be Mitt Romney country."

The forecast might have been overly optimistic. Most opinion polls show President Obama leading Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, among likely Garden State voters.

And yet Romney's visit -- it was his third appearance at a New Jersey fundraiser since December -- reflects the state's towering stature as a source of campaign cash for both parties, and Christie's growing influence among Republicans nationally. He reportedly is on a short list of candidates that the Romney campaign is vetting as it narrows its search for a vice presidential nominee.

"They say that the best thing to be in politics is to be early and right, and New Jersey was early and right in picking Mitt Romney to be the Republican nominee," Christie told about 200 Romney supporters who gathered at the Woodbridge Renaissance Hotel on Tuesday night. "And we weren't just right for our party; we were right for America."

Christie himself was among Romney's earliest and staunchest supporters, traveling to New Hampshire in October to give his endorsement.

"There were many at that time who were still standing on the sidelines, sitting on the fence, waiting for something to hit them, yeah, and I did on behalf of Governor Romney, that's right," he said, drawing laughs.

$2,500 minimum

Tickets to Tuesday night's event started at $2,500. If attendees wanted a photograph with Romney, they had to pay $10,000. VIP tickets cost $25,000, and dinner tickets were $50,000.

Romney's campaign would not say how much money the event raised, but that more than 200 people attended, paying various sums for tickets.

Romney came to Short Hills in April to raise money for the Republican National Committee, and he appeared with Christie at a fundraiser at the Parsippany Hilton in December. …

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