To hear New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) tell it, his gift to Mitt Romney wasn't his decision not to run for president in 2012. It was what he did next.

The gregarious and outspoken governor viewed his endorsement of Romney a week after announcing he would not run as the more notable prize, according to a forthcoming book by The Washington Post's Dan Balz.

Balz writes that toward the end of a fall 2012 interview with Christie, he asked whether the governor viewed his decision not to run "as a gift" to Romney. Christie replied, "The enormous gift was the next week," a reference to his endorsement of Romney. "For me to make that decision that quickly and to be willing to put myself out there for him that early, when no one else really had, I think was a real leap of a faith and a gift politically because nobody else was willing to do it," continued Christie, who added, "I wouldn't have used the word 'gift,' but since you did it seems to fit, it seems appropriate."