Christie tells donors his campaign is peaking at the right time

Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at an event to announce a coalition of law enforcement officials supporting his campaign in Concord, New Hampshire November 30, 2015.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Chris Christie told his top donors Wednesday that his campaign is peaking at the right time in New Hampshire and that an endorsement from the state's largest newspaper has given his underdog campaign a serious lift heading into the holidays.

"The trust and confidence and support and support you have placed in me is about to pay off in a big way," Christie told financial supporters on a private conference call organized by his campaign. "We have folks who are joining our team literally every day, building the organization in New Hampshire that we need to get things done up there on Feb 9."

On the call, Christie boasted about the recent endorsement by the New Hampshire Union-Leader and new support from top activists that were courted by several Republican presidential candidates. The pessimism about his campaign from the media, he said, "is turning around."

"You can go to bed every night knowing that the candidate you are supporting is outworking all of the other candidates," Christie said, claiming that his wife Mary Pat has even spent more time New Hampshire than the rest of the GOP field. "We have 68 days to go, and we have to use everyone of them well. We said we didn't want to peak early. We wanted to make sure we peak at the right time."

The New Jersey governor has staked his campaign in New Hampshire, and while his campaign's narrative says that his many visits are are paying off with a late burst of momentum, New Hampshire polls still show him hovering around 5 percent.

"We are on the cusp of a moment right now in New Hampshire and elsewhere," Christie adviser Mike DuHaime told the donors. "It's a palpable feeling up there."

Christie's national finance chairman Ray Washburne also chimed in on the call, urging donors to get "fence-sitters" -- other potential financial backers -- "into the bank before the end of the year" when the last campaign finance reporting period of 2015 concludes.

Taking questions from financial supporters, Christie declined to set expectations for his performance in New Hampshire and said would have a better sense of his political standing until after the holidays. "New Hampshire folks don't focus on this race in a major way until January 15 or later. We will have a much better answer post-January 15."

Despite the time he is spending away from home, New Jersey issues were on the mind of several donors who asked questions. Christie was asked by a New Jersey-based donor his strategy for dealing with the New Jersey Star-Ledger, which has been critical of Christie's administration in Trenton. Christie called the paper "a liberal rag" and told his supporters to "do yourselves a favor and cancel your Star Ledger subscription and restore your sanity."

"I don't know why you were reading it or why you care," he said. "The Star Ledger is like my crazy ex-girlfriend who broke with me and is now running around town saying I am an awful person."

A donor from Arizona asked Christie how he was connecting with young people. He said he has visited several college campuses and focusing his message on the economy. "We are very aggressive on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat," he said. "We are communicating with younger voters in the way they communicate now. I have two college-aged kids, so I know that's how they get their information."