New Jersey governor Chris Christie implied on Monday that he would be open to the possibility of being Mitt Romney's vice presidential nominee.
During a visit to a high school in Plainsboro, New Jersey, Christie said he could be convinced to join the Republican presidential ticket. “He might be able to convince me,” Christie said of Romney, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He's a convincing guy.”
It was recently speculated that Christie, who rejected encouragement to run for president, is one of the leading candidates to run for vice president along with Romney.
While the Republican primaries have not officially ended, Romney is generally considered the presumptive nominee, especially after former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania suspended his bid for the GOP nomination.
Christie recently visited Israel for a four-day trip intended to “strengthen New Jersey’s economic and diplomatic relationships with foreign nations.” The trip was labeled the "Jersey to Jerusalem Trade Mission" and included members of the state’s Jewish and business communities, as well as the governor’s family.
Christie also traveled to Jordan where he met with King Abdullah II. He did not visit the Palestinian Authority during his trade mission visit, a fact that was not overlooked by Arabs.
Aref Assaf, president of the New Jersey-based American Arab Forum think tank, wrote on NJ.com that “For a governor who said he will ‘tread lightly’ and wanted the visit to be educational, ignoring the Palestinian elephant in the room sent a contradictory message.” Assaf added that if he was trying to please the Jewish population in the state, the governor should have realized that “there are more than twice as many Muslims and Arabs in New Jersey than Jews.”
During his visit to Israel, Gov. Christie met with President Shimon Peres, who said Christie is an ‘outstanding friend of Israel.’
New Jersey has the second-highest Jewish population by percentage after New York, according to census data. Jews made up 5.8 percent of New Jersey’s 2009 population, trailing New York’s 8.3 percent.