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Stumping for Romney in Iowa, Christie returns the favor

With just four days left until the Jan. 3 caucuses, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are running neck and neck, with Romney at 23 percent among likely caucus-goers and Paul at 21 percent, according to an NBC/Marist poll. NBC's Peter Alexander reports.


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Stumping for Mitt Romney in Eastern Iowa today, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie described his own uphill election battle in 2009, and how Romney's support -- when Christie faced long odds -- is one of the reasons he now supports the former Massachusetts governor.

"He came down, he worked for me. He campaigned for me. And more than anything else, he was a resource and a friend at a time when nobody in this country knew who I was -- and half the people in New Jersey didn't know who I was yet," Christie said.

"And those are the kind of friends that you remember, because they're the people who aren't there for the fame or for the glory. They're there because he believed in me and what I was doing and what I was talking about."

Christie, whose campaign also received $6,800 in donations from Romney's Free and Strong America PAC, said this afternoon he was "thrilled" to return the favor for the man he now vociferously backs.

"He was willing to travel to New Jersey a number of times and put his name next to mine, at a time when his name, you know, was, as it is today, the most important thing he has. It's his reputation, and he put that on the line for me," Christie said. "So I'm thrilled to be here today to put my reputation on the line for him, with all of you."

Christie isn't the only recipient of Romney's financial help who's now backing the former Massachusetts governor. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who endorsed Romney earlier this month, received $62,00 from various Romney-affiliated PACs and several campaign appearances by Romney. (However, the most impactful endorsement Haley received during her primary campaign was from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.)