A Look Back At Chris Christie's Breakout Year

Chris Christie Daily Show

Photo: Comedy Central

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has had quite the year. Christie rose to national prominence as a Republican firebrand with a penchant for saying exactly what’s on his mind.

It’s a habit that has infuriated Democrats, and even irked members of his own party, some of whom claim his last-week campaign embrace of President Barack Obama during superstorm Sandy cost Mitt Romney the election.

From his Jersey Shore boardwalk brawl to the Twinkie jokes, we’ve compiled some of the best moments from Christie’s breakout year. 

Town hall meetings became a key part of Christie's effort to sell Jersey residents on his 10 per cent income tax cut. Here he is at a town hall meeting in January.

He delivered a eulogy for Republican Assembly Leader Alex DeCroce in January, who tragically collapsed and died at the New Jersey Statehouse.

The Associated Press' Mel Evans took this close-up of Christie's face in late January.

He teamed up with Mitt Romney in the earliest days of the Republican primaries. Here he is campaigning with the Republican presidential candidate in New Hampshire Jan. 8.

He forged a surprising — and very public — friendship with Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

They even made a video together, parodying Booker's penchant for heroics.

Christie also met WWE CEO Vince McMahon.

He attended Whitney Houston's funeral.

He visited Israel, fueling speculation about a 2016 presidential run. Here he is meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He and his wife Mary Pat laid a wreath at the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

And he prayed at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Jerusalem.

Christie, Obama and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo toured the One World Trade centre site and were briefed on the progress.

He and Jimmy Buffett announced that Buffett's Margaritaville franchise would be coming to Atlantic City.

Here's Christie wearing a lei.

Christie sampled a Crab Ball during a late-summer stop in Sea Isle, N.J.

Here he is enjoying a beer... while giving a radio interview.

He likes to play arcade games.

And he almost got into a brawl on the Jersey Shore...while wielding an ice cream cone.

Christie came out swinging — literally — as he prepared to give the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention.

His speech was fiery, but he was criticised for not pumping up Romney more.

Christie also campaigned for Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. He probably didn't need the megaphone though.

This campaign stop in Iowa in late October was Christie's last shining moment as a Romney surrogate. He accused Obama of not having the ability to lead.

A week later, he welcomed Obama to tour the damage from Hurricane Sandy. This became the defining image of the campaign's last week.

He even joined Obama on Air Force One to take an aerial tour of the damage.

But he was criticised post-election for wilfully boosting Obama during the final week of the campaign.

He met Bruce Springsteen — and said he cried when he did.

In November, he made a joke about Twinkies, refusing to answer a question about Hostess' bankruptcy for fear of ending up on Saturday Night Live.

Post-election, he has kept up his spree of media appearances, like last week's guest spot on The Daily Show.

Take a look at Chris Christie's breakout year below:

Chris Christie is one of the Most Impressive People of 2012. Now see who else made ourl ist.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.