It wasn’t a tough decision for Chris Christie when a conflict arose on his schedule this week, which made the New Jersey Governor ditch Rand Paul. It was a wife choice for Christie, especially being a married man for two decades.
“In a choice between Mary Pat Christie and Rand Paul, it’s no choice for me,” he said Tuesday about being invited to a campaign event where Sen. Paul, R-Ky., will be in attendance. “I’ll be with Mary Pat.”
Paul will be campaigning Sept. 13 in the Garden State for Senate hopeful Steve Lonegan, who is in an uphill battle against Democrat Cory Booker in the special Senate election to pick a successor to the late Frank Lautenberg. Christie, who recently endorsed his ex-rival Lonegan in the Senate race, also was invited to the same event.
Paul’s campaign recently reached out to Christie’s aides to try and arrange a meeting when Paul campaigns on Friday, September 13 for Steve Lonegan, the Republican nominee in New Jersey’s special Senate election.
But Christie said he and his wife are leaving that same Friday and will come back Sunday, on her birthday.
“I am taking her away, just the two of us,” he said.
Both Republicans are considered potential contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Their recent back-and-forth spurred a larger debate about the party’s divide between establishment Republicans and a more libertarian-leaning wing.
While Christie endorsed Lonegan in person shortly after the businessman became the Republican nominee last month, Christie has largely kept his distance from the candidate, who’s known as a staunch conservative.
Lonegan, however, trails behind Democratic nominee and Newark Mayor Cory Booker in recent polls. The winner of October’s special election will finish the term of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year.
Word of Paul’s trip to New Jersey to campaign with Lonegan was first reported by Politico.