- - Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told an Israeli TV interviewer Sunday that President Obama deserves praise for his efforts to help his state recover from Superstorm Sandy, but he is still going to vote for Mitt Romney.

Mr. Christie, a leading Romney surrogate, delivered the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention. Last week, he toured New Jersey’s battered shore towns with Mr. Obama and discussed recovery assistance. The two embraced and had words of praise for each other’s efforts to relieve the misery the storm brought to New Jersey residents.

“Honestly the fact of the matter is that what New Jerseyans expect from their governor is to work for them, not to work for any particular political party,” Mr. Christie said in an interview from New Jersey while insisting that nothing has caused him to waver in supporting Mr. Romney.

“I’m a Republican, I’ve endorsed Mitt Romney and I support him. I intend to vote for him on Tuesday,” Mr. Christie said. “But the fact of the matter is that if the president of the United States comes here and he is willing to help my people, and he does it, then I’m going to say nice things about him because he’s earned it.

“And I’ve said plenty of not-nice things about the president over time — he knows that. And we joked about that when we were together this week,” he said.

WISCONSIN

Ryan joins tailgate party during stop in Green Bay

GREEN BAY — It’s football Sunday, so why not a quick stop outside the home of the Green Bay Packers before a hectic day of campaigning by Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan?

The Wisconsin congressman and his family joined up with a tailgating party across the street from Lambeau Field. Two of running mate Mitt Romney’s five sons, Josh and Matt, were there along with four of Romney’s grandchildren.

Mr. Ryan was wearing yellow and green striped ties and a Packers jacket. He didn’t make formal remarks during the 10-minute visit and didn’t go inside the stadium, where the Packers were taking on the Arizona Cardinals in the afternoon.

Mr. Ryan is heading to Ohio, Minnesota and Colorado for campaign rallies.

Last month, Mr. Ryan dropped in on practice at the Cleveland Browns facility.

OHIO

That’s Joe: Biden calls president by wrong name

LAKEWOOD — Another oops for Vice President Joseph R. Biden. He mistakenly referred to “President Clinton” instead of “President Obama.”

Mr. Biden told a crowd of 1,200 people at Lakewood High School Sunday that a Republican ad claiming Jeep will move jobs out of Ohio was “pernicious,” and a sign that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is desperate to win the state.

Mr. Biden says the ad claims “President Clinton bankrupted Chrysler so that Italians could buy it to ship jobs overseas to China.”

Mr. Biden recently referred to Virginia’s Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine as “Tom” and complained to an Ohio audience about TV ads “here in Iowa.”

Mr. Biden, who is known for going off script, did not correct himself on Sunday and the crowd at the high school outside Cleveland appeared not to notice.

CAMPAIGN

Romney predicts a win in Pennsylvania

MORRISVILLE, Pa. — On his second-last day of campaigning, Mitt Romney traveled Sunday to Pennsylvania, where he was looking to connect on a late-game “Hail Mary” by becoming the first Republican to win the Keystone State since George H. W. Bush won here in 1988.

The former Massachusetts governor, though, didn’t seem fazed by the seemingly long odds, walking onto the stage here to the theme song from the Philadelphia-set movie “Rocky” and predicting that he would win the state on Election Day.

“This audience and your voices are being heard all over the nation, they are being heard in my heart,” Mr. Romney told the 25,000 people in attendance. “The people of America understand we are taking back the White House because we’re going to win Pennsylvania!”

In another measure of the increasing crowds Mr. Romney has been attracting, another 5,000 people were in the overflow area outside the arena’s gates.

CAMPAIGN

Former governor says Sandy hurt Romney

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Hurricane Sandy and the resulting weeklong “news blackout” broke the momentum of Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

Mr. Barbour, speaking Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” said the impact of the hurricane on the coverage of the presidential campaign was “good for President Obama. Now whether it will be good enough remains to be seen.”

“The hurricane is what broke Mitt Romney’s momentum. If this election had been held last Friday, Romney would have won,” Mr. Barbour said. “No matter what Obama did, he couldn’t stop Romney’s momentum. I’m not blaming the news media; all the news coverage was about everything but Obama’s policies and the results of those policies.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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