Christie Backs GOP Candidate for Governor
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that Republicans will unite behind Neel Kashkari, California's GOP nominee for governor, after a divisive primary against a tea party favorite but also said he has "work to do" to attract national fundraising for his long-shot bid.
Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, appeared with Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official, at a flower warehouse in the liberal stronghold of San Francisco before heading to a $10,000-a-plate fundraiser for the association.
"He knows how difficult this race is," Christie told reporters. "But I believe he's going to do the work, and when he does, you're going to see not only the RGA but lots of Republicans across the country, when they see an opportunity to win here in California, are really going to be rushing here."
Incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has $21 million in his campaign account and won 54.5 percent of the vote in last week's top-two primary, compared to about 19.4 percent for Kashkari.
Christie and Kashkari also denounced comments made earlier this week by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who compared being gay to conditions such as alcoholism, in which people can choose to change their behavior.
Christie said he does not believe "that's an apt analogy and not one that should be made because I think it's wrong." But he said every public official should speak for themselves on such issues.
Kashkari said he met with Perry, another potential GOP presidential candidate, to discuss economic issues before he made the comments about homosexuality. He said people should "cherish each other based on who we are."
"Somebody's sexual orientation is nothing to be treated. We are who we are, and the notion that you're going to convert someone from one to the other I just fundamentally don't agree with," he said.
Christie's stop is part of a cross-country revival tour in which he is trying to shore up his reputation after the bridge-closing political scandal at home put a dent in his national aspirations. In recent weeks he has visited Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New Mexico, Iowa and New Hampshire.
He appeared Thursday night on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and is spending the weekend at a summit in Utah hosted by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
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