03/05/2012 04:41 pm ET Updated Mar 05, 2012

Chris Christie Endorses Scott Brown In Massachusetts Senate Race

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie officially announced his support Monday for Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), endorsing the up-and-coming GOP lawmaker hours ahead of a Boston campaign fundraiser the governor is set to headline.

"Scott Brown and I share a commitment to taking on today's most difficult challenges by reforming government, balancing budgets and making tough choices," Christie said in a statement released by the Brown campaign. "He is battling to bring the same kind of fiscal discipline to Washington that I am fighting for in New Jersey. Scott cuts through the baloney and calls the issues like he sees them, and I am proud to endorse his campaign."

The Massachusetts Democratic Party quickly took aim at the optics of the rally, urging Brown to use the opportunity to "come out in support of marriage equality and call on Gov. Christie to take a firm stance for equality in his home state."

Democrats also swiped at Brown's record on LGBT issues, saying that it left "a lot to be desired."

"You supported a constitutional amendment to take away our right to marry, said it was 'not normal' for gays and lesbians to raise children, welcomed the support of anti-gay groups, including one the Southern Poverty Law Center says is a hate group and refused to participate in our congressional delegations' It Gets Better Video," they wrote.

Last month, Christie followed through with a vow to veto his state legislature's effort to legalize gay marriage, rejecting legislation that came to his desk after passing votes in both the state House and Senate.

Christie has said he favors a statewide vote on the same-sex marriage question.

Brown's camp later responded in an email, according to Patch, linking the statement to his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren:

"Elizabeth Warren and her supporters are mistaken if they think this election is about social issues. It's about jobs, and reducing debt and controlling spending. Scott Brown appreciates Governor Christie's leadership on fiscal issues. Governor Christie is one of the nation’s leading champions of balanced budgets and government reform. Scott Brown believes we need that same kind of fiscal discipline in Washington, which is why he's fighting to pass a balanced budget amendment."

Scott and Warren have been locked in one of the most heated Senate contests in the nation. Despite the Brown campaign's claim that the race isn't about social issues, the two have not shied away from butting heads over them, most recently with dueling op-eds on the Obama administration's controversial birth control mandate, which required religious institutions to provide contraceptive coverage as part of their health insurance plans. The two have also jockeyed for the lead in various polls, with the most recent showing Warren trailing Brown by 8 points, 41 to 49.