ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday picked up an endorsement for president from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who praised Christie for his support last year during Hogan's long-shot run for governor.
Hogan, a Republican, said Christie tells it like it is and most politicians don't. Hogan also commended Christie for being able to work with Democrats and independents.
"Having the ability to govern in a blue state and win votes from Democrats, I think that's a big, big advantage in a presidential campaign," Hogan said. "And I think the kind of stuff that we bring in our states is what we need in the country — and that's bringing people together without all the rabid partisanship that you see in Washington."
Christie was a strong supporter of Hogan's underdog campaign for governor last year in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1. Christie led the Republican Governors Association and made several campaign appearances in Maryland for Hogan. The association spent $1.2 million in the final weeks of the campaign on Hogan's behalf.
"I would not be governor Maryland if it were not for this guy right here," Hogan said. "When nobody believed in our race, he came in here four different times during the campaign and really pushed us over the top."
This is Christie's second endorsement from a sitting GOP governor. He was also endorsed by Maine Gov. Paul LePage, whose campaign also received significant financial backing from the RGA.
Christie, who is seeking the Republican nomination in a crowded field, criticized the recently brokered deal to curb Iran's nuclear program. Christie said President Barack Obama's statements that inspections can happen anytime under the agreement were deception.
"The president's announcement yesterday is just another in the series of his lies that he's told the American people that they're tired of," Christie said outside a Maryland diner with Hogan.
Christie has been wearing a "Hogan Strong" bracelet since the Maryland governor's cancer diagnosis was announced last month.
Hogan said he feels really good after his first round of chemotherapy last month for B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, though the governor said he gets a little tired late in the day. Hogan said he has six more rounds of chemotherapy scheduled. He is checking back into the hospital Sunday. Hogan said he is able to work in the hospital and meet with staff.
"It's not the same as being in the office, and I'm not out doing public things, but I was able to actually crank through some paperwork and make some decisions," Hogan said of his hospital stay last month.