SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Chris Christie cruised to reelection in New Jersery and appears to be laying down early markers for a 2016 White House run — by getting former President George W. Bush to speak to the Republican governors group the Garden Stater now heads.
It was Mr. Christie’s time to shine this week in Arizona as he gathered his fellow GOP state bosses for the first time as the leader of the Republican Governor’s Association — and he didn’t disappoint.
He arranged a surprise luncheon visit for his colleagues from former President George W. Bush — an appearance that sent the chattering class into a tizzy.
Hannah Abney, a spokeswoman for the former president, told The Associated Press that Mr. Christie asked Mr. Bush “to come surprise the governors at lunch and share some of his experiences from his time as governor of Texas and president of the United States.”
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer told the AP that Mr. Bush was “upbeat and charismatic” over the two-hour meal and encouraged them ahead of the 2014 elections.
But many pundits viewed the former president’s appearance as a sign of Mr. Bush’s affection for Mr. Christie — a vital show of support ahead of a potential 2016 White House bid in a crowded, fractured Republican field.