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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Former President George W. Bush lunched with a group of Republican governors on Thursday, making a surprise visit at the invitation of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The former president joined about two dozen governors during an annual meeting of the Republican Governors Association at an Arizona resort.

Hannah Abney, a spokeswoman for the former president, said Christie asked Bush ``to come surprise the governors at lunch and share some of his experiences from his time as governor of Texas and president of the United States.'' Christie, who was appointed by Bush to be U.S. attorney in New Jersey, became chairman of the influential governors' organization on Thursday.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Bush was ``upbeat and charismatic'' over the two-hour meal and encouraged them ahead of the 2014 elections.

``He encouraged all of us and agrees, I believe, with us that the best breeding ground for presidents is the governors so it was right along our lines,'' Brewer said.

Associated Press,

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