New Jersey Governor Christie hospitalized

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SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie was "in charge and at work" in a hospital room Thursday following emergency treatment for asthma, his deputy chief of staff said.

The blunt-talking governor, who some Republicans have been trying to persuade to run for president, was taken to a hospital Thursday after he had difficulty breathing.

Christie, who uses an inhaler for asthma, was headed to a bill signing when he felt unwell. The 48-year-old walked into Somerset Medical Center at around 10:30 a.m., said Maria Comella, his deputy chief of staff.

Christie's EKG, blood work and chest X-ray were normal, and the governor expects to be discharged from the hospital Thursday evening, Comella said.

In a post on Facebook, Christie's brother Todd Christie described the problem as an asthma attack.

The last time Christie sought emergency treatment for asthma was when he was in law school, gubernatorial spokesman Michael Drewniak said.

The governor was driven to the hospital by his state police security detail out of an "abundance of caution," Drewniak said.

His wife, Mary Pat, was at his side, and she expected to go to their son's baseball game later Thursday. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was in her office at the Statehouse.

Christie canceled his monthly "Ask the Governor" radio show, which was scheduled for Thursday night.

"All breathing problems should be considered a medical emergency until proven otherwise," said Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who heads the emergency medicine department at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., and is not involved in Christie's care.

Christie, a former federal prosecutor who took office 18 months ago, has drawn praise from fiscal conservatives and complaints from unions for efforts to trim benefits for public employees as part of steep budget cuts.

His national profile also has risen, in part, for his frank and sometimes confrontational exchanges with the media.

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