Chris Christie is looming large behind the scenes of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, coaching him before the last GOP debate and lining up policy experts, donors and big-name backers, according to a report Friday.
The New Jersey governor is far more than just a high-profile supporter and has become one of Trump’s most trusted advisers, NJ.com reported.
“Christie is clearly making the transition from endorser to enabler and positioning himself to be a major player in the Trump camp,” David Kennedy, a presidential historian, told NJ.com.
Edward Newton, who vetted Christie when he was considered a possible running mate for Mitt Romney in 2012, said the fact that Christie was coaching Trump shows how high his star has risen.
“Leading the debate prep, as Christie has, or the VP candidate search, as Dick Cheney did, fosters a strong relationship and a great level of trust,” Newton said.
“It’s natural for that person to see themselves becoming a potential running mate,” he added about Christie, who was ridiculed for endorsing Trump after bowing out of the race himself.
When Christie joined Trump at a press conference at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Palm Beach to talk about his Super Tuesday wins, Christie could be seen staring adoringly at the GOP front-runner.
Trump and Christie have spoken regularly since the governor endorsed him, a Christie insider said.
“There’s a lot of phone conversation between the two,” the source told The Post.
Christie even arranged a conference call for Trump to talk directly to New Jersey Republican leaders and seek campaign help.
Christie confidante Bill Palatucci also sits on the Republican National Comittee’s Rules Committee and will be advancing and protecting The Donald’s interests within the party and at the convention.
Most of Jersey’s major GOP county committees have endorsed Trump. Jersey has 52 delegates in its winner-take-all primary.
Christie was invited to help Trump prepare for the final GOP debate after he was mocked for boasting about his sexual prowess to respond to personal digs about his “small hands.
Christie interrupted his 30th wedding anniversary to coach Trump for a relatively sedate next debate.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks didn’t return messages seeking comment.