New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made Israel his first official overseas trip this week, meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a visit that may boost the rising Republican star’s foreign policy credentials ahead of November’s presidential election.
Christie, 49, is mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate in 2012 and a possible presidential candidate in 2016. He has brushed aside repeated appeals from top Republican donors to enter this year’s presidential race.
Israel is a popular stop for American politicians on the rise. Speaking to reporters after visiting the Western Wall, Christie downplayed any political significance of his trip.
“Anything I do fuels speculation for a future bid,” Christie said, wearing a skullcap with his name embroidered on it. “I am here because this is a place of enormous significance in the world.”