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Chris Christie Endorses Trump in Fort Worth

(CN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday endorsed Donald Trump for president, catching the political establishment by surprise ahead of Super Tuesday contests in 11 states.

The endorsement by Christie, who dropped out of the presidential race two weeks ago, came as the real estate developer and television reality show star was under intense attack from Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Rubio began his attacks on Trump in earnest during Thursday night's televised debate between the Republican presidential candidates in Houston, and he continued them Friday, repeatedly asserting that Trump is little more than a con man.

Trump spent much of Friday firing back at his opponent, dismissing the torrent of nasty remarks aimed at him.

"Desperate people do desperate things," he said of Rubio.

Christie also turned his guns on Rubio Friday, calling the senator's slashing attacks on Trump at the Thursday night Republican debate a "desperate" flailing of a "losing campaign."

"I can guarantee you that the one person that Hillary and Bill Clinton do not want to see on that stage come next September is Donald Trump," the New Jersey governor said at an appearance in Fort Worth.

"They know how to run the standard political playbook against junior senators and run them around the block," Christie added. "They do not know the playbook with Donald Trump, because he is rewriting the playbook."

Trump, not surprisingly, welcomed the endorsement, then appeared before an adoring crowd in Fort Worth that The New York Times estimated at 8,000 people.

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