Obama holds up a stuffed bear after playing an arcade game along the Point Pleasand boardwalk.
Obama holds up a stuffed bear after playing an arcade game along the Point Pleasand boardwalk.

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President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie once had a warm relationship

Obama recounted their time playing games on the boardwalk

The two are now less friendly, with Christie moving towards a likely presidential run

(CNN) —  

President Barack Obama on Monday reminisced of better times with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, his onetime hug-buddy turned Republican antagonist as the governor has turned his focus to an expected presidential bid.

The governor greeted Obama on the tarmac as he emerged from Air Force One for a visit to the state to speak to troops at New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. There, Obama recounted to the press his visit to the Jersey Shore with Christie last year to survey the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts there.

“Christie and I went down to Asbury Park, spent some time on the boardwalk. We played a little Frog Bog. Chris’ kids taught me how to hit the hammer to get those little frogs into the buckets,” Obama recalled.

He admitted: “It was hard.”

“And then Christie beat me at football toss, which really aggravated me,” Obama said, remembering that Christie “bragged” about his win afterwards.

“Which is okay, but I will get a rematch at some point,” Obama promised.

Christie has previously complimented Obama and drew criticism from Republicans after he was photographed in a sideways embrace with the president when he visited the state to survey the damage done by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The warm relationship between the two has been called a “bromance” in the media.

The governor is considered one of a handful of likely Republican presidential contenders, and routinely polls in the top four or five in the potential GOP field.

And in recent years, Christie has become more critical of Obama. In September, Christie charged the President had “underestimated what had been taking place in Syria” and saying he was “disturbed” by how the president had handled the growing threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

On Monday, however, Obama touted the U.S. offensive against ISIS, declaring it has “blunted their momentum and put them on the defensive.”

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