New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may have worked closely with President Obama in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, but it appears he’s more emotionally invested in a different budding bromance. Christie admitted at a Monday briefing that he started “weeping” after he hugged Bruce Springsteen at NBC’s telethon for Hurricane Sandy victims on Nov. 2, the Record reported.
Christie is a longtime fan of his fellow New Jerseyan and has attended more than 130 Springsteen concerts over the past 37 years. The governor even sang a version of “Thunder Road” when he made an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in September. Although Springsteen has never hid his liberal leanings, the E Street Band front man set aside his ideological differences with Christie to chat with the Republican governor and his family at the Radio City event to benefit Sandy victims.
(MORE: Poll: Bruce Springsteen Could Be the Boss of New Jersey)
“We hugged,” Christie said to a crowd of relief volunteers in Monmouth County on Monday, according to the Record. “Yeah, we hugged, and he told me it’s official: we’re friends.”
Christie and Springsteen had met twice before, but their interactions were limited to “formal pleasantries,” the Record noted. Their previously tense relationship may have stemmed from their opposing presidential preferences — Christie campaigned for GOP candidate Mitt Romney, while Springsteen was active in fundraisers for Obama. Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, however, managed to bring the two Jersey boys together.
“I told the President today actually that the hug was great and that when we got home there was a lot of weeping because of the hug,” Christie said. “And the President said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘Well, to be honest, I was the one weeping. Everyone else was fine.’ ”
(PHOTOS: TIME’s Class of 2016: The Political Leaders to Watch)
Obama gave Christie another chance to interact with his musical hero on Monday, when he handed Springsteen the phone while discussing storm relief with the governor, the AP reported.
Christie hinted at the briefing that his newfound friendship with the Boss will continue to blossom in the near future.
“Bruce has said he’s going to be here to help the community in New Jersey as soon as he gets off tour,” Christie said. “So I’m looking forward to spending some more time with him as we go forward.”
(MORE: Cory Booker Cements His Reputation as Newark ‘Super Mayor,’ Lets Sandy Victims Crash at His House)
Christie joked that it was “even better” to talk to Springsteen on Monday than it was to talk to Obama. The highlight for Christie, however, occurred at the telethon, when Springsteen allegedly told the governor he was pleased with the way he had dealt with the storm.
“I’ll treasure it forever,” Christie said of the compliment.
An Atlantic story from the summer chronicled the governor’s previously unrequited love for Springsteen, who reportedly would pass by Christie backstage at concerts with little more than a terse acknowledgement. The rocker seems to have changed his tune: the Los Angeles Times pointed out that Springsteen praised Christie’s hurricane-relief efforts at several recent concerts.
MORE: Poll: 22% of Americans Want Bruce Springsteen to Write New National Anthem
PHOTOS: Top 10 People Really, Truly, Honestly Not Running for President
MORE: Stella McCartney ‘Completely Shocked’ After City Pulls Plug on Dad’s Jam with Bruce Springsteen