JERUSALEM (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie defended his praise for President Barack Obama's support after superstorm Sandy, but said he would stick with his Republican ticket and vote for Mitt Romney in this Tuesday's election.
"The fact of the matter is what New Jerseyans expect from their governor is to work for them, not to work for any particular political party," Christie told Israel's Channel 2 television in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
"I'm a Republican and I have endorsed Mitt Romney, I support him and I intend to vote for him on Tuesday," said Christie, interviewed in his home state by a visiting Israeli television reporter.
Christie, a popular governor widely seen as a possible Republican contender in 2016, had frustrated some in the Romney campaign who feared he had given what could be a critical boost to Obama, a Democrat.
He referred to Obama's pledge of federal aid during a visit to help New Jersey recover from the storm that knocked out power to some 2.4 million of its residents and said:
"If the president of United States comes here and he's willing to help my people and he does it then I'm gonna say nice things about him because he's earned it."
Obama "provided help to my people at one of the worst crises that this state has ever faced," Christie added. "When somebody does a good job, they deserve credit."
"Anybody who is upset in the Republican Party about this, they haven't been to New Jersey. Come see the destruction, come see the loss."
(Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Stephen Powell)