- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SALEM, N.H. (AP) - In his third trip to New Hampshire in as many months, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday the Republican Governors Association will sink significant cash into Walt Havenstein’s gubernatorial campaign.

Christie attended a fundraiser for Republican Havenstein and campaigned with him at a Nashua bakery before joining U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown in Salem. He’s been crisscrossing the country to bolster fellow Republicans as chair of the RGA, with a schedule that also has included key states on the presidential nomination calendar as he considers a run in 2016. He declined to discuss his own plans beyond November.

“No one’s going to see my name on the ballot in New Hampshire in 2014,” he said. “What I do his come here to help.”

The Republican Governors Association says it has raised $75 million while Christie has served as chairman, and by the end of the week he will have attended events in 28 states and the District of Columbia. It already has spent $500,000 in New Hampshire. Christie said he doesn’t know how much more is coming, but said Havenstein, who faces incumbent Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, is worth a big investment.

“We’ll spend a lot, that much I’ll tell you,” he said.

He praised Havenstein, a former defense industry executive, as smart, hard-working and earnest, and called Hassan an underperforming governor. Democrats, meanwhile, called Christie worse, criticizing his economic record in New Jersey. New Jersey has recovered fewer than half the private-sector jobs lost during the 2009 recession, while enduring one of the Northeast’s highest unemployment rates, and the state’s debt rating has been downgraded eight times on Christie’s watch.

The Christie administration has responded to the downgrades by saying that he’s been pushing to get pension and health payments for public workers in check and has put the onus on Democrats who control the legislature to get on board. And it points to recent employment data showing job growth and shrinking unemployment.

“Let them come to New Jersey and try to manage the economy,” he said of his critics Wednesday. “I’m not looking to take economic advice from Democrats who screwed up my state.”

In Salem, Christie praised Brown as an independent leader and joined the former Massachusetts senator in criticizing Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen as a rubber stamp for President Barack Obama’s administration.

“He’s a winner, he’s a winner not only politically but a winner at governing,” he said. “You vote 99 percent of the time with the president? I can’t find anybody I agree with 99 percent of the time. I don’t agree with myself 99 percent of the time.”

Christie also campaigned for Brown in Massachusetts in 2012, when Brown lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

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