Christie is a hit with many governors at conference

July 16, 2012

By Melissa Hayes / The Record

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Republican governors who gathered for an annual meeting in Williamsburg, Va., over the weekend said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s tough-talking nature appeals to voters across the country.

Christie, who was in high demand among his peers on the day he participated in the National Governors Association’s yearly meeting, even won over at least one Democrat.

Not surprisingly, not every chief executive on hand was a Christie fan. Other Democrats said his signature brash style — on display most recently when he got into an argument on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights and when he called a reporter an idiot at a news conference — was not the hallmark of a good leader.

Counting Christie, 26 governors attended the gathering Notably missing was New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who with Christie is reportedly being considered as running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nomineeMitt Romney.

Christie refused to talk to reporters at the meeting.

Others though, were talking — about the New Jersey governor.

“Straight talk is refreshing,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association. “And because in a deep-blue state he has advocated tough reforms that have been embraced even by Democrats — pension reform, education reform — because good ideas are successful regardless of whether it’s Democrats or Republicans putting them in place. Good ideas get recognized and enacted. I think that’s probably it.”

“And he’s just, he’s a lot of fun. He’s funny, but he’s serious as well.”

His counterpart, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, had a different take.

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