Is this the case of a broken heart? And, if so, whose? The Huffington Post reports that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declined attending a Sunday campaign event for Republican Presidential nominee and his onetime best political best bud former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. And from the quote from a Romney bigwig in the HP story, Team Romney is NOT happy:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was effusive in his praise of President Barack Obama when the two leaders toured damage from Hurricane Sandy last week, turned down a request by Mitt Romney to appear with him at a rally on Sunday night in Pennsylvania, The Huffington Post has learned.

Christie’s decision will only add to questions among Republicans about what the governor — who is up for reelection a year from now — is thinking, and why he went out of his way to heap praise on the president, and then refused to appear with Romney.

The Romney rally was held at a farm in Morrisville, Pa., not more than 20 minutes from Trenton, the New Jersey capital. The physical proximity of the event to New Jersey only added to questions in the Romney campaign about why Christie chose not to come.

“You can’t tell me he couldn’t have gone over there for a night rally,” a Romney campaign source told HuffPost.

Christie did, however, has had some more contact (telephone) with Obama since the storm and his official calls. Obama was playing Yenta the Matchmaker so Christie could talk to his longtime hero, singer and prominent New Jersey resident Bruce Springstein:

President Obama connected Bruce Springsteen and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during a phone call from Air Force One Monday, TPM has confirmed. The New Jersey legend campaigned with the president in Wisconsin and Ohio on Monday.

Here’s Christie talking about his talk with his hero:

New York News | NYC Breaking News

There’s all kinds of speculation about what has gone on with Obama, Christie and Romney. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Christie seemed genuinely in a state of grief over what happened to his state and he welcomed Obama’s efforts.
2. Conservatives who started blasting him and demonizing him for cooperating with Obama like politicians for centuries of both parties have worked together in times of crisis made a big mistake. I’m sure it was not lost on him.
3. He may have concluded a)Romney is going to lose b)it’s easier for him to run in 2016 if there is no Republican in the White House.
4. Team Romney was clearly behind a piece in The Politico that was not entirely complimentary to Christie saying he had been Romney’s original first choice for V.P.
5. He may have been resentful about not being asked.
6. He TRULY has wanted to interact with Springstein.
7. He may shift that there is a hunger more than ever for many Americans to see people of both parties work together rather than constantly snipe at each other to score points.
8. Rupert Murdoch’s virtual threat to Christie may have caused the Governor to dig in his heels. “To you, buddy!”

It may be a story of two politically broken hearts.

UPDATE: A comment by a reader made me realize I left out the MOST IMPORTANT reason why Christie likely declined:

He made it VERY CLEAR after the Hurricane that was going to work on taking care of his constituents who were grappling with the tragedy, shock and destruction of the hurricane. Christie most likely was simply…being true to his word to stay away from the campaign and focus on his job. A talk with Springstein isn’t the same as attending a rally to elect Romney.

UPDATE II: A Christie campaign official denies they were asked — and Josh Marshall notes that the leak most likely came from a Romney camp official. Marshall writes:

But isn’t this borderline certifiable on the part of the Romney camp? Can you imagine the epic crapstorm Christie would have rightly gotten if he left the state in the middle of this catastrophe to go to Pennsylvania to attend a political rally?

It’s frankly such a crazy request that it shows just how deeply Romney’s been stung by Christie’s praise of President Obama.

Christie has been blasted also by Lou Dobbs and others on Fox. This is precisely the kind of demonizing attack politics that so many Americans hate. Who would have ever thought that Christie would be on the other end of it — and come out the one smelling like a rose, rather than like bunch of sour grapes?

It’s also puzzling. Clearly if you add this and The Politico piece about how Christie was REALLY Romney’s first Veep choice but he was discarded at the last minute — sometimes he was late, he didn’t take hints on his acceptance speech, etc. — it’s clear that the Romney camp has wanted to lash out just enough so their fingerprints would not be too evident to discredit Christie. You’d think that they would want every single Republican vote they could get — and Christie does have some Republicans who really like him.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post went on before it was intended to go on due to a technical glitch so it appeared in unfinished form in its earlier incarnations. We regret the problem.

JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
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Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
  • sheknows

    I would love to be a fly on the wall in Christies voting booth!! I think we all see a very different Christie enter that booth and we will surely see a new one exiting. Welcome to the Democratic party Chris!!

  • rudi

    Maybe Christie still has a lot of work in dealing with Sandy. New York and Jersey voters will remember his hard work in 2016. They might not like a Governor who abandoned his post to play politics. This helps his image. Christie gotta look good in comparison to AC(NY).

  • sometimes

    Why did the Romney campaign even asking a governor to take time away from overseeing a crisis response to campaign? I mean, seriously, imagine how crazy it would have looked for him to be campaigning while millions of his residents don’t have power! Didn’t Team Romney think about him saying know before asking him, or did they just ask him without thinking it through? Crazy!

  • casualobserver

    A Romney bigwig talking to the HuffPo, huh? Talk about an assertion that begs for critical editorial questioning before reprinting.

    Palatucci said no one from the Romney campaign reached out.

    “They knew better than to ask given the situation here,” Palatucci told CNN.

  • Of course they would deny it. And with the exception of a few unusual cases over the years, anyone who has been in the media knows reporters don’t just make up quotes. The HP’s reporters that they hired were not people off the street. I a)most assuredly believe the quote and b)would expect that on election eve the campaign would deny the quote in the HP.

  • sheknows

    Sometimes, The Republican party wasn’t thinking about HIS image, they were thinking about theirs. They want to show everyone that Christie is still a Republican, even though he praised Obama. As usual, it’s party befort people with them.

  • Carl

    This was a Romney vice presidential running mate consideration, that now won’t break bread with his party’s king brethren?

    Considering that Christie’s answer to running with Romney was pretty much: “not no, but hell no”, maybe Ryan was in fact a choice more of desperation rather than calculation. After all, Ryan wasn’t even one of the nominee candidates. Maybe the rest of the Republicans running said no to Romney too.

    Imagine that, Romney all alone in that big Republican party. The rejected Mormon, waiting for the messiah to return to Jackson county Missouri, shunned by the brothers of self righteous indignation.

    Blymie, what would Ronald Reagan say?

  • SteveK

    Blymie, what would Ronald Reagan say?

    Here’s what Ronald Reagan would say,

    “For the past 3 months, I’ve been silent on the revelations about Iran. And you must have been thinking: “Well, why doesn’t he tell us what’s happening? Why doesn’t he just speak to us as he has in the past when we’ve faced troubles or tragedies?” Others of you, I guess, were thinking: “What’s he doing hiding out in the White House?” Well, the reason I haven’t spoken to you before now is this: You deserve the truth. And as frustrating as the waiting has been, I felt it was improper to come to you with sketchy reports, or possibly even erroneous statements, which would then have to be corrected, creating even more doubt and confusion. There’s been enough of that.”

    Blymie, Let’s vote in another Republican President then everything will be just fine.

  • Carl

    I don’t think we should Steve. Nitwits seem to run in that family.

  • SteveK

    Nitwits seem to run in that family.

    Actually, Michael was adopted… And disowned.

  • Carl


    Was he really disowned? How do you do that, go an disown your kid?

    Strange family that.

  • I hope that, when the oft-maligned state of New Jersey has recovered from this storm, Chris Christie puts his integrity and his bombast — a very potent combination — to work in decrying and debunking Fox News and the Right’s attack politics. What they are doing , what they have been doing, to public discourse and this nation, is unconscionable and they need to be smacked down HARD for this, and Christie is the guy to do it.

  • ShannonLeee

    If we learned anything from the first debate, it is that the Rep party is quick to forgive when they think they have a chance of winning. Some may vilify Christie now, but they will be singing his praises in 4 years.

  • dduck

    Christie, who I would never want as a presidential or VP candidate, is now toast with Reps. Fugetaboutit, go join the Dems you rat.

  • zephyr

    There’s plenty of room for you too dd! 😉

  • dduck

    I don’t join rats. 🙂

  • Imagine that, Christie snubbed a campaign event to HELP HIS STATE. I have been impressed by Christie’s handling of this tragedy in NJ. Good for him for being a true leader. I may not always agree with his views, but he’s always come across as a stand-up individual to me. Here’s to hoping that Christie helps to lead a moderate revolution within the GOP and bring them back into the fold of tin-foil-hatless politics.

  • dduck

    Show him the cheese again.