Christie helped Trump with debate prep

Donald Trump, Chris Christie
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Chris Christie is taking on a bigger role behind the scenes of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump gives Lester Holt a C grade for debate Trump camp talking points: Mention Monica Lewinsky Trump floats theory that Google suppresses negative news on Clinton MORE's presidential campaign, helping the GOP front-runner with his debate prep.

The New Jersey governor coached Trump prior to the last Republican debate, held March 10 in Miami, NJ.com reported Friday.

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Christie took time out from a trip to Florida for his 30th wedding anniversary to help Trump at the businessman's Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach on the eve of the debate, an unidentified source told the news outlet.

Christie's help followed an unruly debate earlier this month in Detroit during which Trump made a suggestive comment about his genitals in response to a barb from then-rival Marco RubioMarco RubioLanny Davis: Clinton a clear winner, with or without sound Could Snapchat be the digital bridge to younger voters? Koch-linked veterans group launches ads in Senate battlegrounds MORE, who had mocked the size of Trump's hands.

The debate in Miami was the most civil of the 12 GOP bouts this cycle, with candidates mostly avoiding personal attacks. Rubio dropped out of the race shortly after, following a loss in Florida's primary.

Trump later decided not to attend a subsequent debate with Ted CruzTed CruzHouse approves stopgap funding, averting costly shutdown Overnight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Could Snapchat be the digital bridge to younger voters? MORE and John Kasich, his remaining GOP competitors, and it was canceled.

Christie caught flak last month after endorsing Trump following his own exit from the GOP race. Critics called the governor's endorsement politically motivated.

He appeared behind Trump at a news conference March 1 and told reporters later that week in New Jersey that he was going away for his anniversary.

NJ.com noted that during a news conference March 8, Trump asked whether Christie was in the room, but Christie didn't appear and later balked when asked about staying at a Trump facility.