CHICAGO -- Dogged by a scandal at home and facing public scrutiny on all fronts, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bet on a full travel slate on behalf of the Republican Governors Association to spur a comeback.
And, at least for the short term, he has come out on top.
Having brought in $1.5 million in Texas last week, Christie, the association's chair, reeled in another $1 million in Chicago on Tuesday for Republican gubernatorial candidates, the RGA confirmed. For Republicans doubting Christie's capacity to retain his role as chair, the fundraising hauls will be key to persuading otherwise.
Christie made his case to current and potential donors during eight events in Chicago — including in remarks to the Economic Club of Chicago, private meetings, and at a dinner hosted by Ken Griffin, a prominent Republican donor, which was attended by 20 other guests.
And, bucking the trend of Christie's recent stops in Texas and Florida, Republican candidates for governor did not entirely avoid appearing with Christie in public in Chicago and also met with him in private. One of the candidates, Bill Brady, attended Christie's public address to the Economic Club, and another candidate, Bruce Rauner, requested and received a private meeting with Christie later Tuesday.
For Christie, the nationwide tour is just beginning. He will travel on behalf of the RGA in coming weeks to Massachusetts, Utah, Georgia, Connecticut and Michigan.