New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is employing a similar tactic to that used by Arizona Sen. John McCain during the 2008 presidential election by spending much of his time in New Hampshire, according to a new report.
Christie, a Republican like McCain, has yet to announce his candidacy for president in the 2016 race. But he's been touring the Granite State in recent months, holding town hall meetings with voters, visiting the homes of supporters, and making other campaign-like appearances, according to the National Journal.
Christie's New Hampshire visit earlier this week marked his ninth time in the state. Overall in 2015, he's visited a total of 14 states
as he explores a White House run.
Christie, according to the National Journal story, talked about national security during a 15-minute Chamber of Commerce speech in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
"I will guarantee what they did in D.C. last week is making the U.S. weaker and more vulnerable. And they did it because of politics," Christie said in his straight-talk style, alluding to the expiration of the Patriot Act.
"If you listen to Senator [Rand] Paul and Senator [Mike] Lee and these other guys down in Washington, you'd think I'm listening to the calls of your mother — that operatives at the NSA are listening to your phone calls. We don't [do that]! But yet you're taking this tool away."
Last month, Christie said Paul and Lee were siding with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden on the Patriot Act
. Snowden leaked documents that exposed many of the NSA's spying activities, and he's now living in Russia.
The Journal draws comparisons to McCain's 2008 campaign, during which the Arizona senator spent a lot of time in New Hampshire — the site of the nation's first primary before every presidential election.
And Christie, writes the Journal, sounded like a version of McCain when he spoke Tuesday about increasing military spending.
"Moves by Congress this week, led by members of our own party, to weaken America — to me was a national disgrace. And be assured, as someone who's done this work, America today is weaker and more vulnerable than we were two weeks ago," Christie said.
Christie has attended well over 100 town hall-style events
during his political career, mostly in New Jersey. He has promised to hold more of them as he considers running for president.
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