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Fact check: Did Chris Christie support Sonia Sotomayor?

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said on "Face the Nation" that he did not voice support for Sonia Sotomayor when she was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Obama, although a 2009 statement clearly shows he did.

Moderator John Dickerson asked the New Jersey governor about critics who say he's not strong enough on judges, using Sotomayor as an example.

"I didn't voice support for Sonia Sotomayor," Christie responded.

But here's what he said in a 2009 statement:

"After watching and listening to Judge Sotomayor's performance at the confirmation hearings this week, I am confident that she is qualified for the position of Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court," Christie wrote. "Elections have consequences. One of those consequences are judicial appointments. While Judge Sotomayor would not have been my choice, President Obama has used his opportunity to fill a seat on the Supreme Court by choosing a nominee who has more than proven her capability, competence and ability. I support her appointment to the Supreme Court and urge the Senate to keep politics out of the process and confirm her nomination. Qualified appointees should be confirmed and deserve bi-partisan support. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito deserved that support based on their work as Circuit Court Judges. So does Judge Sotomayor. As a result, I support her confirmation. This is a historic moment and her inspiring success story should not only make the Latino community proud, but all Americans."

Christie did concede that he supported a Democrat as the chief justice in New Jersey, but pointed to the fact that he got two Republicans on the court in return as part of a deal with Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat.

"I got two Republican justices in return. See this is what folks don't understand who don't have to deal with a Democratic senate. The fact is that the Democratic chief justice got me two Republican justices that they had been holding up for two years," Christie said.

But news reports about his deal with Sweeney indicated that Christie was able to nominate just one Republican justice, then-Superior Court Judge Lee Solomon, in return.

Christie's campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the discrepancy.

At a news conference after the deal was announced, Christie hailed it as an example of the way government should work.

"People want bipartisan cooperation. And then of course when they get bipartisan cooperation, they complain about that, too," he said. "The fact of the matter is if you want both parties to work together, then you have to give us the time and the room to work together."

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.