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Feb 16, 2015 9:44 AM

Kevin Landrigan: NJ Gov. Chris Christie returns to NH tonight


CONCORD - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie returns to the first-in-the-nation state Monday as he continues to explore a possible Republican run for president in 2016.

Christie is the keynote speaker for an annual Lincoln Reagan Day Dinner at the Grappone Center in Concord. The city and Merrimack County GOP committees are jointly sponsoring the event.

The brash and blunt Christie showed off a kinder, gentler side during a major speech at the Northwest Suburban Cook County's Lincoln Day Dinner in Illinois last week.

Christie said President Barack Obama has been a divider, not the uniter he promised to be in first running for president in 2008.

"He told us in 2004 that we're not a collection of red states and blue states ... yet I listened to his State of the Union address in January and in my mind it's one of the most divisive State of the Union addresses," Christie said. "That's not leadership."

As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Christie made half a dozen trips to New Hampshire for last year's mid-term elections mostly to promote GOP nominee for governor Walt Havenstein.

The retired, Alton businessman Havenstein outperformed expectations on Election Day and many observers view the Republican takeover of the New Hampshire House of Representatives as an outgrowth of that showing.

The Christie-controled RGA PAC spent more than $3 million most of it on negative attack ads against Gov. Maggie Hassan, a two-term Democrat.

Two weeks ago, Christie was in Iowa, the site of the first caucus of the nominating calendar.
Christie installed Matt Mowers, a former New Jersey gubernatorial aide, as executive director of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee.

Mowers resigned the party post at the end of last month to join Christie's political action committee.


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