Presidential Primaries

Christie defends Trump endorsement after newspapers call for resignation

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in November.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in November.  (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

New Jersey governor Chris Christie on Thursday defended his endorsement of Donald Trump for president in the face of calls for his resignation by several newspapers accusing him of neglecting his state.

"I am not a full-time surrogate for Donald Trump," Christie said at an afternoon news conference. He added that he had no current plans to go back on the road with Trump, but that he could do so in the future.

He also said the newspapers that called for him to step down were "trying to be relevant, and the only way to do that is to set themselves on fire."

"We’re fed up with his opportunism. We’re fed up with his hypocrisy. We’re fed up with his sarcasm. We’re fed up with his long neglect of the state to pursue his own selfish agenda," the Asbury Park Press published in an editorial earlier Thursday.

"He has answered every crisis with neglect during his disastrous second term," the Star-Ledger editorial board wrote.

Christie also denied he was seeking a role in Trump's administration should the real estate titan win the election. The governor said he intends to remain in office until his term ends in 2018.

He also referenced the widely-circulated photos showing him standing quietly behind Trump during a Super Tuesday news conference in Florida.

"No, I wasn't being held hostage," Christie said. He explained that because the event was not a rally, only 25 people in the room weren't either campaign staffers or members of the news media. "All these armchair psychiatrists should give it a break... It wasn't the kind of circumstance where I'd be jumping up and down, cheering and smiling."

The New Hampshire Union Leader, which had previously endorsed Christie in the state's Republican primary, published its own editorial Tuesday calling the choice a mistake. "Watching Christie kiss the Donald’s ring this weekend — and make excuses for the man Christie himself had said was unfit for the presidency — demonstrated how wrong we were," the editorial board wrote.