CLEVELAND -- Although Northeast Ohio is hosting the Republican National Convention, it is noticeably missing one significant political player: Gov. John Kasich.

After he revealed his decision to skip the RNC in his home state, Kasich has been the target of critics.

WKYC’s Maureen Kyle caught up with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie early Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena and asked for his thought’s on Kasich’s absence.

“I have great personal affection for Governor Kasich,” Christie said. “He’s been a friend of mine for a long time. I was out here campaigning for him in 2010 and 2014. John is a person who makes his own judgments. He has the right to make his own judgments, those are his calls. He’s the governor of this state and a good friend, so it’s totally up to John.”

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Meanwhile, Christie is expected to speak on the RNC stage Tuesday evening.

“It’s always an incredible thrill to stand in front of your national party and be asked to speak about the candidate and the race. I’ll be very happy to be up there.”

Is he anticipating any surprises as the RNC continues?

“It’s the Republican National Convention, and it’s Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention so I think surprises will always be around the corner. We’ll be ready for whatever comes.”

Also addressing the convention Tuesday is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.