On Monday night, The Huffington Post's Jon Ward reported that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie turned down a request by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to appear with him at a rally on Sunday night.
Christie responded to the report during a press conference on Tuesday, saying that Romney had called him last Sunday to get an update on the situation as Hurricane Sandy headed toward New Jersey. Listen to the audio, courtesy of Reuters' Matthew Keys:
"I told Governor Romney at that time that if the storm landed as predicted that it was going to be catastrophic to New Jersey and unprecedented," Christie said. "I said to him, 'Listen, Mitt, if this storm hits the way I think it's going to, I'm off the campaign trail from here to Election Day.' And he said to me, 'Chris, of course. That's what you have to do. Do your job, don't worry about me. I'll take care of things.' So all this other noise, I think, is coming from know-nothing, disgruntled Romney staffers who, you know, don't like the fact that I said nice things about the President of the United States. Well, that's too bad for them."
"He told me last Sunday night that he expected no other political travel or help from me over the course of the remaining time between then and the election, if in fact the storm hit the way it was projected," Christie continued. "If it missed us, I would have been happy to go out on the road and help him. But it didn't."
The superstorm devastated parts of New Jersey and left millions without power. President Barack Obama declared New Jersey a major disaster area, freeing up federal aid to help with the storm recovery.
Christie said last week that the federal response "has been great."
"I was on the phone at midnight again last night with the president personally," Christie said. "The president has been outstanding in this, and so the folks of FEMA, Craig Fugate and his folks have been excellent."
Politico reported earlier this week that Romney insiders were unhappy with Christie's praise for Obama, which one described as "over the top."
A source inside Romney's campaign also told Jon Ward that Christie should have attended a rally in Morrisville, Pa., 20 minutes from Trenton, the New Jersey capital.
"You can't tell me he couldn't have gone over there for a night rally," the source told Ward.