NJ Gov. Chris Christie campaigns with Gov. Bentley - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

NJ Gov. Chris Christie campaigns with Gov. Bentley

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley in Birmingham on Wednesday. Source: Anthony Moore/WBRC New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley in Birmingham on Wednesday. Source: Anthony Moore/WBRC
The governors toured the Southern Research Institute and looked at how the facility develops drugs. Source: Anthony Moore/WBRC The governors toured the Southern Research Institute and looked at how the facility develops drugs. Source: Anthony Moore/WBRC
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a possible presidential Republican nonminee, came to Birmingham to help boost Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's campaign.

On Wednesday, the two Republican governors toured the Southern Research Institute and looked at how the facility develops drugs.

Christie came to Birmingham on a fact finding mission about drug research and political fundraising. New Jersey's largest industry is pharmaceuticals.

Medicaid expansion came up during Christie's tour. The New Jersey governor okayed Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, but Gov. Bentley has opposed it.

In fact, the Reverend Jesse Jackson was reportedly accusing Bentley of standing in the hospital door much the way Governor George Wallace tried to block integration at the University of Alabama.

"That is somewhat offensive. Let me tell you, I was in Tuscaloosa when Wallace stoood in the school house door to keep two young black individuals from enrolling," Bentley said in response.

Christie said the Medicaid expansion worked for New Jersey because so many were already enrolled, so it did not expand their budget that much. Christie defended Bentley's decision.

"Our first obligation is to make decisions best for our state and so Robert has made the decision not to expand Medicaid because he believes that is the best decision for Alabama and I support him for doing that," Christie said.

Christie is a possible Republican presidential candidate. Governor Bentley believes Christie would make a good president.

"I don't know what his decision will be yet that will be up to him. Certainly has the attributes and he has the charisma and he cares about people," Bentley said.

Christie said he believes he can connect with Southern voters.

"Folks believe when you are a Republican from New Jersey you are not conservative. I think that if the folks in Alabama understand I'm the first pro-life governor elected since Roe verses Wade in New Jersey," Christie said.

While in Birmingham, Christie help raise campaign funds for both the Republican Governors Association and Governor Bentley's re-election campaign.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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