New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, one of the GOP’s biggest stars, endorsed US Senator Scott Brown today, hours before he is set to headline a fundraiser in Boston tonight for the Republican incumbent.
Christie, who was courted by Republican Party leaders as a possible presidential candidate, is known as a blunt and fiery speaker who brings a sharp focus on economic issues. He led one of the highest energy events on behalf of Charles D. Baker’s Republican gubernatorial bid in October 2010, bringing 800 supporters to their feet at a rally in Melrose.
Today, he officially endorsed Brown, saying in a statement that the men “share a commitment to taking on today’s most difficult challenges by reforming government, balancing budgets and making tough choices.”
“He is battling to bring the same kind of fiscal discipline to Washington that I am fighting for in New Jersey. Scott cuts through the baloney and calls the issues like he sees them, and I am proud to endorse his campaign,” he continued.
But Democrats are using the visit to the Westin Copley tonight to highlight Christie’s recent veto of a gay marriage bill.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party has sent an open letter to Brown, calling on him “to use your appearance with Gov. Christie tonight to come out in support of marriage equality and call on Gov Christie to take a firm stance for equality in his home state.”
Christie vetoed New Jersey’s gay marriage bill last month, saying the issue should instead be put on the ballot.
The Democratic letter chides Brown for his support, while a state senator, for a constitutional amendment to repeal gay marriage and for more recently declining to join the rest of the state’s congressional delegation in participating in a video for the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying campaign.
“Coming out in support of marriage equality tonight would be much more than a symbolic gesture,” the letter continues. “With the US Senate considering a repeal of Defense of Marriage Act, your support would go a long way toward allowing marriage equality to spread throughout our nation.
The letter does not mention that Brown broke rank with many in his party to repeal the military’s ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces.
The Brown campaign responded with a statement: “It’s about jobs, and reducing debt and controlling spending,” said Brown spokesman Colin Reed. “Scott Brown appreciates Governor Christie’s leadership on fiscal issues. Governor Christie is one of the nation’s leading champions of balanced budgets and government reform.”
Noah Bierman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.