New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) landed in Israel Sunday for a four-day trip intended to “strengthen New Jersey’s economic and diplomatic relationships with foreign nations,” his office announced.
The trip, which is being labeled as the "Jersey to Jerusalem Trade Mission," includes members of the state’s Jewish and business communities, as well as the governor’s family. Christie’s office said he is scheduled to meet with diplomatic leaders and honor the region’s people, traditions and culture.
Christie also intends on travelling to Jordan where he will meet with King Abdullah II, before returning to New Jersey on Easter Sunday.
“It isn’t uncommon for governors to travel to Israel on trade missions, but the gesture is likely to feed speculation that Christie is laying the groundwork for higher office. High-profile visits to Israel have become a rite of passage for potential presidential candidates as they work to shore up their foreign-policy credentials and reassure conservatives that they support the strategic ally,” The Hill explained.
The trip is being co-sponsored by The Republican Jewish Coalition and Choose New Jersey, a nonprofit organization established by business executives to expand the state’s economy, according to the Star-Ledger newspaper.