During a visit to a military base in New Jersey on Monday, President Barack Obama recalled hanging out with Republican Gov. Chris Christie last year on the Jersey Shore.
“It is great to be back,” Obama said at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. “I was here last year and visited with some of you on my way to the Jersey Shore. Christie and I went down to Asbury Park, spent some time on the boardwalk.”
“We played a little Frog Bog,” the president said, referring to his trip to survey how the area was recovering after being damaged by Hurricane Sandy. “Chris’s kids taught me how to hit the hammer to get those little frogs into the buckets. It was hard. And then Christie beat me at football toss, which really aggravated me. And he bragged about it afterwards, which is okay, but I will get a rematch at some point.”
Christie met Obama on Monday when Air Force One landed in New Jersey for Obama’s speech. The president gave Christie a hearty handshake, patting the governor’s right arm.
Christie, a potential candidate for president in 2016, has been criticized by conservatives for his embrace of Obama after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. These critics claim the photo-op of the two hugging after the storm may have helped Obama defeat Mitt Romney in the presidential election, as it portrayed Obama as a strong leader working with a Republican governor just days before the vote.
During his remarks on Monday, the president thanked the military at the base.
“Part of the message I’m here to deliver on behalf of the American people is very simple: It’s just to say thank you,” Obama said to the crowd. “Thank you for your extraordinary service. I thank you as your President because you inspire me. And of all the privileges I have in serving in this office, nothing comes close to the honor of serving as your Commander-in Chief.”