New Jersey Governor Chris Christie hosted a fundraiser for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney Tuesday night, raising $1.7 million dollars in campaign funds. Tuesday night’s haul will be added to the Michigan native’s substantial campaign coffers. Governor Romney raised $57.6 million in May, but is still in a tight fundraising race with President Barack Obama, who raised approximately $60 million last month with the help of the Democratic National Committee.
At the Republican fundraiser, Governor Christie proclaimed that New Jersey “is going to be Mitt Romney country.” Romney may have won the New Jersey primary in June, but the Huffington Post’s “Electoral Outlook” predicts that New Jersey will go to Obama in November, giving the president 14 electoral votes.
Christie has been a staunch supporter of Romney from early on. The New Jersey Republican’s support is essential to the Romney campaign, as Governor Christie enjoys a high approval rating in his home state and was once considered a top tier competitor for the Republican presidential nomination before he declined to enter the race. Last October he traveled to New Hampshire to offer his endorsement of Romney.
“There were many at that time who were still standing on the sidelines, sitting on the fence, waiting for something to hit them, yeah, and I did on behalf of Governor Romney, that’s right,” he said, drawing laughs, according to the Boston Herald. Christie, who is known for speaking his mind, is no stranger to responsive crowds.
Most polls show that Obama leads Romney among likely New Jersey voters. Romney’s fundraising efforts there, however, have been largely successful. In addition to the $1.7 million raised Tuesday night, Romney raised between $1.3 and $1.6 million during a fundraiser held at a Parsippany Hilton last December.
More than 200 people attended Tuesday night’s event. Ticket prices started at $2,500. Attendees who wanted a photograph with Romney had to pay $10,000. VIP tickets cost $25,000 and dinner tickets were $50,000.
“They say that the best thing to be in politics is to be early and right, and New Jersey was early and right in picking Mitt Romney to be the Republican nominee,” Christie said. “And we weren’t just right for our party; we were right for America.”
Christie is said to be on a short list for potential Vice Presidential picks. The list includes Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota.
“That man really is something, you know that?” Romney said as he alluded to Christie’s tough talk, according to The Boston Herald.
“I was hoping someone would heckle him so I could watch him go to town here, but you know better, don’t you?”
He added: “What an extraordinary leader. You’re so lucky to have him guiding your state through tough times.”
Governor Christie has said repeatedly he plans to serve out his term, which ends in January 2014. He has also said that if Romney calls and makes him an offer, he will at least listen to the pitch.