- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

BEACHWOOD, Ohio (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told a state Republican delegation Thursday he supported presidential nominee Donald Trump for the good of the state party so New Jersey could remain a significant factor in the race and beyond.

Looking farther down the road, Christie also said he plans to stay out of the public eye once he becomes an ex-governor.

The Republican governor made his remarks at a gathering near the Republican convention in Ohio.

He said he considered his Trump endorsement “the smart thing to do politically” and aimed at positioning New Jersey Republicans “to be able to have significant influence with the person who may in fact be the next president of the United States.”

Christie ended his own presidential run in February. He was the first of the presidential contenders to endorse Trump.

“You don’t get anywhere in this world or in politics by listening to the noise and as a result being averse to taking a risk,” he said Thursday. “Real leaders take risks every day. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Christie said he will seek to emulate former President George W. Bush by staying out of the news when he leaves office.

“I’m not going to be the guy who is sitting by my phone waiting for the phone to ring so I can give a quote to some reporter so I can keep my name in the news,” he said. “I’m not going to be the guy who continues to try to play three-dimensional chess by using the media and having the media use them to assault other Republicans. I’m not going to be the guy who forgets that I’m no longer governor.”

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