Despite his decisive victory, re-elected N.J. Gov. Chris Christie came up short at least one congratulatory call Tuesday night: Barack Obama’s.
But all that changed this afternoon when the Democratic president called the victorious Republican.
An aide to Christie told ABC that Obama had tried to reach the governor before his afternoon press conference today. ”They spoke afterwards and the president offered his congratulations,” the aide said.
Some members of the Christie camp told ABC News this morning they were surprised that the president had not called, given the rapport between the two politicians. After their post-Superstorm Sandy collaboration last year, Obama gave Republican Christie and his family a personal tour of the West Wing.
The White House news release Tuesday said, “This evening, the President telephoned Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe, New York Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio and Boston Mayor-elect Martin Walsh. He congratulated each of them on their election victories and vowed to work with them in the months ahead to expand economic opportunity for middleclass families in their communities.”
Asked at a news conference today whether he thought it was an oversight on the president’s part, Christie said, “I have no idea, he has not called me… If he has a few minutes to call, I’d be happy to take his call.”
“He didn’t call other Republicans so maybe he was being the head of his party last night…maybe he will get to the folks on the other side of the aisle today.”
The president apparently called no Republicans Tuesday night with good wishes, as is generally the case when it comes to public displays of congratulations across party lines.
But Christie called to congratulate Obama the day after last year’s presidential election, and some people in the Christie camp thought the president might respond in kind.
Adding to the expectation were Obama’s recent comments about attempting to put aside his differences with those on the opposite side of the aisle.
“The problem we have is we have a faction of the Republican Party, in the House of Representatives in particular, that view ‘compromise’ as a dirty word, and anything that is even remotely associated with me, they feel obliged to oppose,” the president told George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” in September.
“And, you know, all I can do when it comes to that group of members of Congress is to continue to talk to them and say, ‘Let’s put aside our differences. Let’s stay focused on the American people.’ If we do that, we can get things done.”
Christie’s re-election came a year after Sandy ravaged his state and he applauded the president’s actions in responding.
“I have to say, the administration, the president, himself and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate have been outstanding with us so far,” the governor told Stephanopoulos in October 2012. “We have a great partnership with them.”
Christie continued, “I want to thank the president personally for his personal attention to this.”