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Iowa Governor Says Chris Christie Welcome in State

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad gives high marks to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for his handling of the political scandal over lane closures to an approach to the George Washington Bridge.

Branstad, who like Christie is a Republican, says Monday he was impressed by Christie's press conference last week, calling it "direct."

Christie has been responding to fallout from the traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge in September. Documents show Christie's aides appeared to engineer lane closures at the heavily traveled bridge to punish a Democratic mayor who failed to endorse Christie's re-election bid.

Branstad says Christie is welcome in the early-voting state of Iowa, noting the potential 2016 presidential candidate has visited before.