They may soon be rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defended New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's handling of the bridge closure scandal.

"The bottom line is he stepped up. I think whether it's Chris or any other governor, all of us who are governors, we certainly appreciate people who hold folks accountable in their administration." Walker told reporters following a meeting Tuesday with President Obama and members of the National Governors Association.

Walker pointed out that Christie passed a key test of leadership by holding his staff responsible and taking decisive action.

"He was completely transparent and gave the public a chance to hear what he understood and what he knew, took action on it — decisive action in terms of removing the people who had not been forthright with him," Walker said. "And assuming everything stays as he's announced, I don't see that being a problem for him."

Walker said he called Christie after news of the scandal broke and believed the New Jersey governor's explanation.

"He told me exactly what he said to the public and I have every reason to believe him, and going forward I think he handled it the way we'd expect a leader to handle it," Walker said.