Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Watchers See New Energy in N.H. Newspaper's Support

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Watchers See New Energy in N.H. Newspaper's Support

Article excerpt

Governor Christie returns to New Hampshire today with a fresh boost to his campaign, thanks to the endorsement of the Union Leader of Manchester, one the state's most widely read newspapers.

With New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary election set for Feb. 9 and Donald Trump leading in statewide polling, the endorsement was seen as breathing new life into Christie's campaign.

Bill Greiner, an investor and restaurateur who hosted a house party for Christie in June, said the newspaper's endorsement gives the governor an opportunity to rise above the rest of the field of candidates when New Hampshire voters are just starting to decide whom to support.

"We're just now getting to the point where people are focusing and breaking off," Greiner said. "Most people in the state have not made their minds up. In the next 10 weeks, that's when it's really going to happen."

Christie's numbers, according to the most recent Real Clear Politics average of statewide polls, are still in the single digits - - seventh among the Republican contenders, at 5.3 percent.

Trump is leading the pack, with an average of 26 percent, followed by Marco Rubio at 12.5 percent, Ben Carson at 10.5 percent, Ted Cruz at 9.5 percent, John Kasich at 7.8 percent and Jeb Bush at 7.5 percent.

The endorsement from the Union Leader on Saturday was headlined, "For Our Safety, For Our Future," a sign that national security issues are increasingly shaping the GOP primary after Islamic State terrorists killed 130 in a series of attacks in Paris this month.

The newspaper described Christie as a skilled crisis manager for "dangerous times," who "has prosecuted terrorists and dealt admirably with major disasters."

"Honored to receive the support of New Hampshire's @UnionLeader tonight," Christie wrote in a message posted on Twitter on Saturday.

But as Christie expressed his pleasure at gaining the endorsement, he was silent Sunday on any of the substantive issues that might be molding opinions.

For example, while Carson, Mike Huckabee and Trump all had things to say about a gunman's attack on a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado, Christie said nothing, and a spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment on it. …

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