White House: Obama loves Chris Christie

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Politics,White House,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama

The love-in between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and President Obama continues, with the White House on Tuesday praising the Republican's efforts to repair the Jersey Shore hit by last fall's Hurricane Sandy.

"On Gov. Christie, [White House spokesman Jay] Carney said POTUS thinks he has done an excellent job on the efforts he has undertaken to rebuild," said a pool report from Air Force One which toted Obama to New Jersey for a tour of the devastated area with Christie.

Quoting Carney, the press pool report added, "The best way for recovery to happen is by cooperation among levels of govt. ... POTUS is going on this trip to highlight his ongoing commitment to recovery. On the personal relationship between the two: president has respect for Gov. Christie and his efforts."

Christie's outreach to Obama for federal funding has won applause in New Jersey for the bipartisan approach to benefit the state. But outside of Jersey, he has been slapped by conservatives who charged that Christie gave Obama an election-eve platform on which to brag about his emergency management efforts.

The New York Times dubbed Tuesday's meeting a "reunion" of the "political odd couple."

A second pool report indicated the closeness of their relationship:

"POTUS greeted Christie at the bottom of the AF1 stairs, where the governor was standing in a light sprinkle. (No umbrellas involved). Gov Christie wearing blue suit, white shirt and purple tie. POTUS jogged down steps and gave a handshake and slapped Christie on the shoulder.

"POTUS then worked a small rope line with Christie. The two of them were smiling broadly as they walked to the small crowd. Your pooler could not hear what they said. Mr. Christie hung back a little to let Obama shake hands."