- The Washington Times - Monday, August 4, 2014

Mitt Romney is again teaming up with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The 2012 GOP presidential nominee will join Mr. Christie for a fundraiser next month to benefit the New Jersey Republican Party, CNN reported.

The Sept. 10 event in East Brunswick, New Jersey, is billed as a birthday party for Mr. Christie, who turns 52 next month, with Mr. Romney listed as a “special guest” on the invitations.

Mr. Christie was a top surrogate for Mr. Romney during the 2012 presidential race, regularly leading rallies for the former Massachusetts governor. This time it’s Mr. Christie who is eyeing a White House run in 2016.

The appearance by Mr. Romney, who has taken on the role of elder statesman of the GOP since his election loss, could help reassure Republican donors that Mr. Christie is still a viable contender for president.

Mr. Christie lost momentum and his status as an early frontrunner after being embroiled in the “Bridgegate” scandal, in which his top aides ordered lanes closed on the George Washington Bridge to cause traffic jams in an adjacent town as political retribution against the town’s Democratic mayor.

The fundraiser also might help soothe conservatives who were infuriated at Mr. Christie for participating in a photo op with President Obama and lauding his response to Hurricane Sandy just days before the 2012 election.

The birthday fundraiser is co-hosted by Mr. Christie’s longtime political confidant Bill Palatucci, New Jersey GOP Chairman Sam Raia and other top state Republicans.

“Governor Romney has long been a supporter of New Jersey Republicans and we are very much looking forward to the honor of having him back to support the state Party and to celebrate this special occasion with all of our guests,” Mr. Palatucci and Mr. Raia told CNN.