Friday shocker: Christie backs Trump (with reactions)

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FORT WORTH, TEXAS — New Jersey Gov. Christie, whose own presidential ambitions were endorsed by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker days before the Garden State politician bowed out of the race, announced at a surprise press conference Friday that he’s backing Manhattan real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Christie’s announcement came the morning after Thursday night’s fierce GOP presidential debate in Houston and just days ahead of the all-important “Super Tuesday” 12-state Republican primary bonanza.

Christie’s announcement also made waves across Massachusetts’ political landscape:

Earlier this month, when asked to comment on a vulgarity Trump directed at rival candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during a rally, Baker doubled-down on his reasons for backing Christie.

“Did he really? Did he really say that?” Baker said about Trump. “Look, I made very clear last week when I endorsed Governor Christie that part of the reason I endorsed him was that I didn’t think that Donald Trump had the temperament or the seriousness of purpose to be president of the United States, and that comment would certainly fit quite well in that particular category.”

As for Christie, various media outlets were quick to rehash instances during his own presidential campaign in which he mocked Trump’s policies.

Others pointed out instances in which Trump lobbed criticisms at Christie:

As Tuesday wore on, reaction posts on social media piled up as well, including one zinger dropped by the former chief strategist for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who suspended his campaign earlier this month following a disastrous performance in the South Carolina primary:

Other “splashes” from Friday’s announcement included a continuation of Trump’s Thursday night harangue of rival candidate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. During a rally held immediately following his announcement with Christie, Trump mocked Rubio’s 2013 post-State of the Union water bottle gaffe:

Todd Harris, one of Rubio’s campaign advisers, later released a statement labeling Trump’s “get” of Christie as an example of someone needing an “articulate guy” who can explain his ideas.

Earlier on Friday, Rubio mocked Trump over a series of misspelled “mean” tweets.

Trump later deleted his misspelled diatribes, an action that did not go ignored:

(Check back later today for updates)