In the past, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has strongly criticized former Gov. Jim McGreevey for following a fiscal policy that put the state into billions of dollars in debt, but now it seems Christie considers McGreevey to be one of his best buds.

Governor Chris Christie and Governor Jim McGreevey have a conversation with the Women of Integrity House at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny, N.J. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

During a visit to the Hudson County jail, where McGreevey is a spiritual adviser, Christie said people think that politics and personal relationships are contained with absolutes, so if you disagree on one thing you cannot possibly be friends, but that's just not so.

"The fact of the matter is, Jim and I, if we have certain philosophical disagreements, we live with that. That's what our country is about, but I have real respect for Jim as a person, and he's committing his life to trying to help others, and I think that's extraordinarily laudable," said Christie.

He pointed out McGreevey is part of a really exclusive club, consisting of people who have been elected by the people of this state to be their governor.

"I told him I wanted him back in the club - I didn't want him disappearing, I wanted him back, I invited him to all of the State of the States from the time I was here and the budget addresses. And in the beginning, he wouldn't come, and eventually - I just keep calling and bugging him enough- and he finally showed up."

Christie added there's lots he and others can learn from listening to people who have been governor, and he also said McGreevey has been extraordinarily helpful with problems and issues he's had to deal with as governor.

"There have been often times when I've picked up the phone and talked to Jim, and he's been able to give me advice and counsel, some of which I've accepted, some of which I've rejected, but the fact is he's been willing to do that for me."

McGreevey Focused on Ministry

"My life right now is focused on prison ministry till the end of my days," McGreevey said. "I've had numerous conversations with the governor, and this governor has talked about the need for treatment and I've just got the greatest personal respect and admiration for him."