FISHERS, Ind. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Monday that it would be the “height of arrogance” to suggest that Mitt Romney would choose him to be his vice-presidential running mate. “I don’t expect to be asked,” he added.
During a brief press conference following an Indiana campaign fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Susan Brooks, he said he would advise Mitt Romney anytime he was asked to do so, but had no plans to tell the media about it. His discretion with reporters, he said, is the primary reason Romney still calls upon him.
Still, he said, it was “good to be early and right” about his support for the likely GOP presidential nominee.
Christie made the appearance to support Brooks, who is one of seven Republican House candidates running in Indiana’s 5th District.
Seven former federal prosecutors who worked with the New Jersey governor while he was a U.S. attorney have won political office in their home state since he became governor.
“We all worked together during the Bush years,” he recalled, “but I think everyone was surprised when I was the first in the class to win an election.”
The observation put a grin on Susan Brooks’ face: Her official biography notes that she was Christie’s colleague for six years, serving as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
“I’m not a rock star for the Republican Party,” Christie quipped. “In New Jersey there’s only one rock star, and that’s Bruce Springsteen.”
Modesty aside, his rock-star status brought in supporters who paid $1,000 per plate , or $5,000 for two tickets and a ticker with the Garden State governor.
Christie told reporters that he based his support for Brooks on his personal experience: “I know her, I worked with her,” he said.
A source in the Brooks campaign said the day’s events — including a more modestly priced post-lunch reception — likely raised $100,000, which is more than any of the other GOP candidates in Brooks’ race has raised to date.
“If you want a change in Washington … change the people who are in Congress now,” Christie said.
“Susan Brooks will truly bring Indiana conservative values to Washington.”
Brooks took the opportunity to hitch her wagon to Christie’s, telling supporters that she stands for the same ideals.
“He has a record of cutting spending and taxes in New Jersey,” she said, “and is an example of the kind of leadership we need to tackle our nation’s challenges.”
New Jersey has begun to emerge from an era of heavy taxes, job loss and criminal corruption, she added, since Christie took office in 2010.
Brooks, a first-time candidate, was deputy mayor of Indianapolis after her stint as a federal prosecutor. During the past four years she has led statewide workforce development strategies at Ivy Tech Community College.