Live

Watch CBSN Live

Gov. Chris Christie decides to return to New Jersey for snowstorm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday announced that he would leave the presidential campaign trail and return to his state in the afternoon to prepare for the oncoming snowstorm.

At a town hall in Littleton, New Hampshire, Christie said he was going to head back to New Jersey in the afternoon and will try to return to New Hampshire on Sunday if the weather permits.

"I want to make sure that the people of my state feel safe and secure," Christie said, noting that he's been on the phone with the National Weather Service, National Guard and various government agencies. "So I'm going to go back this afternoon."

In the meantime, Christie said his wife, Mary Pat, will stay in New Hampshire to host a few events in his absence.

Originally, Christie had events scheduled through the weekend in the Granite State, in advance of the first-in-the-nation primary there on Feb. 9.

The governor said Friday that it looks like a "pretty manageable storm" and that people shouldn't be "nervous." He said he made the decision to head home after he received a call at 11 a.m.

Christie posted a series of tweets about his decision to return home.

He said he wanted to make sure his residents felt safe.

On Friday morning, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized Christie for initially deciding not to return to his state.

"I think he needs to come back," de Blasio told CNN.

Christie, who was praised in 2012 for how he handled the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, came under fire in 2010 for vacationing in Disney World during a blizzard that hit his state.

The snowstorm comes just a few weeks before New Hampshire's primary. A CNN/WMUR survey released earlier this week found Christie was tied at 6 percent support in New Hampshire with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

CBS News' Erica Brown contributed to this story.

View CBS News In