Reports that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) declined an offer to appear alongside Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a campaign rally are false, according to one of the governor’s advisers.
The Romney campaign “knew better than to ask given the situation here,” Bill Palatucci told CNN.
According to The Huffington Post, Christie was asked to appear at a campaign event in Pennsylvania on Sunday night. But an aide for Christie said the governor was too busy dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“The entire shore is devastated,” the aide told The Huffington Post, noting that 700,000 people were still without power. “And if you’re here on the ground, you have an appreciation of how tough it is.”
“All in all, it’s a lot of things that require focus. We’re moving toward sort of a new normal here in New Jersey,” the aide added. “The governor’s been pretty clear that his number one priority is the safety and security of New Jerseyans and all his efforts are focused on Hurricane Sandy recovery right now.”
Flooding from Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New Jersey, turning the city of Hoboken into an “oily swamp.” Relief efforts are still underway.
Christie has praised President Barack Obama and the federal response to Hurricane Sandy. The governor told Fox News last week that he was not “the least bit concerned or interested” in campaigning with Romney, adding that he didn’t “give a damn about presidential politics” at this point.
[Ed. note: Updated after publication with Palatucci’s comments]