(Photo source: AP)
Non-nonsense New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been showing a softer side since Hurricane Sandy ravaged his homestate. The candid Republican has even drawn the ire of some conservatives for heaping effusive praise on President Obama for his handling of the crisis. Now, another unexpected love-fest has emerged between Christie and his longtime unrequited love, and fellow New Jersey counterpart, Bruce Springsteen. In fact, he was even moved to tears by a recent encounter.
Speaking Monday at a briefing on storm recovery, Christie explained how he, much to his surprise, spoke with "The Boss" earlier in the day. Christie had been discussing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy with Obama when the president handed the phone to Springsteen, who was traveling with him on Air Force One as part of a campaign tour, according to the Associated Press.
Christie also revealed that he got a hug from the veteran rocker at Friday's benefit concert for storm victims, and that he was deeply moved by the gesture. Springsteen, a staunch liberal, had never acknowledged the Republican governor before even though Christie has attended more than 100 of his concerts.
Christie acknowledged weeping at home after meeting his longtime idol.
“We hugged,” Christie said. “He told me it’s official: We’re friends. I told the president today, actually, that the hug was great and when we got home, there was a lot of weeping because of the hug. And the president asked why. I said, ‘Well, to be honest, I was the one doing the weeping.’ ”
Oddly, Christie, who still supports Governor Romney's bid for the presidency and who was the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, reportedly turned down Romney’s request to join him at a Sunday-evening rally in Pennsylvania.
Romney campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho insisted the move was not a snub.
“He’s [Christie is] always invited to attend our events,” Gitcho told the Boston Globe. “We reached out to his staff to let them know that we would be in the area campaigning, but we never expected him to come because [he] is dealing with Sandy recovery.”
So could this gesture affect the presidential election? National Review's Rich Lowry believes Christie's latest antics have indeed hurt Romney, saying he agreed with a New York Post editorial begging the New Jersey governor to come out in an even stronger display of support for Romney.
"That kind of show of support might have been particularly important to Romney (and convenient for Christie) in the Philadelphia suburbs," Lowry writes. "But now it’s too late."
Watch Christie's remarks below in which he acknowledges his tearful moment: