SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — John Kasich and Chris Christie are officially bros.
“I love John Kasich,” Christie said today at the Republican Governors Association conference at the picturesque Phoenician resort.
The New Jersey governor’s comments came a day after Kasich, Ohio’s governor, said of Christie: “Chris and I are friends. He texts me, we laugh, we bust each other’s chops.
“He’s like a big teddy bear, he’s just, I like him,” Kasich said.
All of the public, mutual admiration in the desert last week between the two governors has been brought on by a few factors, primarily Christie’s skyrocketing status as a national power for Republicans and an early frontrunner for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination (should he run).
Kasich, by contrast, is also mentioned as a possible entrant into the party’s nomination fight, but in the meantime he was kind of a magnet in Scottsdale for national reporters looking for insight.
There’s also something else that binds them: Christie became the RGA’s chairman, making him chiefly responsible to raise money and help Republican governors win election next year. Kasich, of course, is up for re-election.
“I’ll come to Ohio for John as frequently as he wants me to, and as frequently as I can, given the balance” required of helping other GOP governors and running his own state, Christie said.
Kasich predicted great success for Christie in his new role.
“Christie is going to do great out there. Are you kidding?” Kasich said. “Christie, he is like a force now. People want to be around him. He came out to Ohio during my last campaign, people just loved him. He said if you don’t elect this guy I am coming back here New Jersey style. They liked it.”
Kasich also said Christie “has one other thing going for him — it’s called celebrity.
“In case you hadn’t noticed, that’s a big darn deal in America today.”
To reporters, Kasich said “you all can’t get enough of him.”
Christie said he Kasich “get along very well because we have very similar approaches to governing.
“We’re both very direct, we say what we believe, and we do so enthusiastically,” Christie said.