Wealthy GOP donors starting to give up on Christie for 2016?

posted at 4:01 pm on January 20, 2014 by Allahpundit

Contra Mediaite’s headline, I don’t think that’s what Chuck Todd’s saying in the clip below. But I’m intrigued that that’s what Bret Baier seems to think he’s saying — and that he agrees:

bb

Todd’s point, I think, is simply that Christie’s been subdued and apologetic lately, which is useful in countering his scandal-fueled image as a bully but not so useful in impressing the people who are thinking of bankrolling his presidential run. They want the old Christie, the fightin’ RINO who’s going to get in people’s faces and not take sh*t from anyone. That’s the sort of center-right candidate, they think, who’ll be able to connect with middle-class voters on the trail in a way that no nominee has done since Dubya. The more Christie tones things down, the more he risks losing the special combative Christie charm that his fans like about him. I thought country-club Republicans would cut him a break on that for now, knowing that it’s important for him to appear contrite during the Bridgegate storm. Evidently not, per Todd — and, per Baier, their temporary displeasure in some cases isn’t so temporary. He makes it sound like some big-money GOPers are prepared to abandon ship. Maybe they’ve concluded that Bridgegate has forever poisoned Christie’s pugnaciousness: Even if the scandal passes and he returns to his old ways, his willingness to confront critics will always be seen going forward through the prism of bullying. (MSNBC and the media will see to that.)

Or maybe some of these people were never big on Christie in the first place and have seized on this as an opportunity to entice some centrist rival into the race. Some Romney donors hate the guy for betraying Mitt in 2012, other establishment donors simply prefer Jeb (or Scott Walker) and have been eager for space to open up for them in the field. Christie’s huge approval rating and landslide reelection meant they had to wait, but at the first sign that he’s damaged goods, the anti-Christie donors are now leaping into action to whisper to media pals that he’s DOA for 2016. Maybe that’s enough to finally lure a serious centrist into that race. I’ll frankly be surprised if, in the next 10 days, there isn’t a story in some major paper about Bush and/or Walker fielding calls from members of the donor class who are newly eager to feel them out for 2016. The novelty of Christie, supposedly, was that he could bring independents and Democrats (especially Democratic-leaning Latinos) into the fold like no one else in the GOP. But if Bridgegate, or Christie’s newly subdued demeanor, begins to weaken that effect, then there’s no reason to prefer him to some other centrist and plenty of reason (starting with the fact that the a swath of the base really dislikes him) not to. Which reminds me — behold the new numbers from Pew:

pe

No racial breakdown there, and of course his numbers from January 2013 were even rosier than usual in the near-aftermath of Sandy, but he’s gone from being double-digits net positive among Democrats to double-digits net negative. How bad those numbers get might determine whether Christie’s viable or not — an unusual position for a would-be nominee for the other party to be in, but when you’re selling yourself as the bridge-building bipartisan choice, that’s life. Exit quotation from Eliana Johnson:

“The idea that he’s the prohibitive front-runner is over,” says a Republican strategist. Among the party’s money men, the reaction to the scandal that has rocked Trenton for the past week is divided. While some remain firmly supportive, others say the release of e-mails showing that one of Christie’s top aides colluded to close traffic lanes leading onto the George Washington Bridge has confirmed their worst suspicions about him. “This is one of the few moments where there’s not a pack mentality,” says the strategist.


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Chris Christie favors mass illegal alien amnesty.

No supporter of illegal alien amnesty, or special pathway to legalization of any kind, should ever come close to the nomination.

NO TO LIBERAL CHRISTIE!!

bluegill on January 20, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Oh great, another fat-boy thread. Was wondering when it would show up…

OmahaConservative on January 20, 2014 at 4:07 PM

i think the bridgegate scandal is an overblown story and christie was not involved.

yet, if it’s causing fewer people to donate to him, yay! i don’t like him.

“The idea that he’s the prohibitive front-runner is over,” says a Republican strategist.

well it was the establishment “republican strategists” who had that dumb idea in the first place.

Sachiko on January 20, 2014 at 4:08 PM

OK, establishment Republicans. What now?

the_moll on January 20, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Oh great, another fat-boy thread. Was wondering when it would show up…

OmahaConservative on January 20, 2014 at 4:07 PM

On the upside, it’s not an amnesty thread. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to search for a higher bar.

nobar on January 20, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Anti-gun, pro-amnesty Obama pal Chris Christie always was the Establishment choice.

Anyone who wants to elect a conservative ought to feel good that liberal Christie has taken a big hit.

bluegill on January 20, 2014 at 4:12 PM

the old Christie, the fightin’ RINO

The problem is he fights mostly… for the other side. Like in essence that’s what he did when he did a backhanded fight for Obama’s election with, after Sandy, his profuse over the top praise for Obama and hugging performance. On climate change, he stood their to confirm everything Obama said that we were doomed. By the way, climate change matters, because it is the one area where the leftists duped many of us in order to promote policies that they already favored for decades. Well, so Christie doesn’t see it like the rest of us Republicans, he smarter than the rest of us, he’s got elite “Jersey smarts,” here he is fightin’ hard for the leftists on climate change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPxDnb2-aVI&ii=ChristieClimateChange

anotherJoe on January 20, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Good.

kingsjester on January 20, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Christie is a losing cause and will be nothing but trouble for the GOP. Forget him and find a viable conservative candidate that doesn’t have a bucket of smelly fish in his/her past or present.

rplat on January 20, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Chuck Todd, arbiter and unveiler of what the GOP thinks.

Akzed on January 20, 2014 at 4:15 PM

MSM high five! Not that I mind.

supernova on January 20, 2014 at 4:15 PM

We will probably have about 5 “front runners” from now until 2016.

terryannonline on January 20, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Time to pour the money into Jeb Bush’s coffers, eh, establishment GOP?

They never learn….

theotherone on January 20, 2014 at 4:17 PM

They want the old Christie, the fightin’ RINO who’s going to get in people’s faces and not take sh*t from anyone.

No. They want the old Chrispy Chreme, taking long, romantic walks with Barky on the beach, smooching in the moonlight, fighting conservatives and helping to take America down at every turn.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 20, 2014 at 4:20 PM

If not Chris Christie, where will they go? They don’t want a conservative. They don’t want new blood over the old guard. I hope these anonymous “donors” are really starting to sweat. Whatever they end up getting, they deserve to get it good and hard.

gryphon202 on January 20, 2014 at 4:23 PM

OK, establishment Republicans. What now?

the_moll on January 20, 2014 at 4:09 PM

McCain-MurCOWski 2017 ?

burrata on January 20, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Wealthy GOP donors starting to give up on Christie for 2016?

Might as well run him…what difference at this point does it make?

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 20, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Anyone who thinks the big money GOP donors open up their inner thoughts and feelings and strategies and plans to Obama sycophants like Chuck Todd is just a freaking idiot.

Adjoran on January 20, 2014 at 4:28 PM

gryphon202 on January 20, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Jeb first. If he implodes, then they’ll just spend every last cent destroying all conservative candidates including and up to the nominee.

nobar on January 20, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Anyone who thinks the big money GOP donors open up their inner thoughts and feelings and strategies and plans to Obama sycophants like Chuck Todd is just a freaking idiot.

Adjoran on January 20, 2014 at 4:28 PM

I don’t think that’s the point. If F. Chuck Todd can shape the narrative with even a few people in the early states, it’s worth the effort to mindscrew people even this early.

gryphon202 on January 20, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Christie’s huge approval rating and landslide reelection

Huge approval, fine. It’s New Jersey, so it remains to be seen if it translates elsewhere. But his landslide? He gamed that out, to the point of scheduling the Senate election as far away form his own as possible, and by not helping his fellow GOP candidates lest they drag him down. His landslide doesn’t mean squat. He’s not a team player unless the team is playing for him.

Jeff Weimer on January 20, 2014 at 4:32 PM

As I stated days ago…it doesn’t take much to manipulate the Republican’s.

A couple of articles/hit pieces, and couple of liberal journalist make a point, and throw another candidate away.

Say what you will, Christie caused liberals problems, and that means that have to fight him, and that takes resources…Christie is important to the Republican’s, not as a candidate, but as a foil, as a battle field that uses up time and money.

But of course most don’t see that, they only see that Christie is not their ideal candidate, so therefore of no use…so easy to manipulate, so very easy.

right2bright on January 20, 2014 at 4:33 PM

The problem is he fights mostly… for the other side. Like in essence that’s what he did when he did a backhanded fight for Obama’s election with, after Sandy, his profuse over the top praise for Obama and hugging performance. On climate change, he stood their to confirm everything Obama said that we were doomed. By the way, climate change matters, because it is the one area where the leftists duped many of us in order to promote policies that they already favored for decades. Well, so Christie doesn’t see it like the rest of us Republicans, he smarter than the rest of us, he’s got elite “Jersey smarts,” here he is fightin’ hard for the leftists on climate change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPxDnb2-aVI&ii=ChristieClimateChange
anotherJoe on January 20, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Absolutely true. Thank you for posting that video.

There is no overwhelming scientific consensus supporting the “man-caused global warming” lie:

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/01/03/lawrence-solomon-97-cooked-stats/

Here Christie is AGAIN siding with the power-hungry liberals who demand more government control.

bluegill on January 20, 2014 at 4:35 PM

He makes it sound like some big-money GOPers are prepared to abandon ship. Maybe they’ve concluded that Bridgegate has forever poisoned Christie’s pugnaciousness

My bet is not that they think he’ll have forever lost his fire, but that the donors are thinking that if he can be cowed once, he can be cowed again.

Stoic Patriot on January 20, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Say what you will, Christie caused liberals problems, and that means that have to fight him, and that takes resources…Christie is important to the Republican’s, not as a candidate, but as a foil, as a battle field that uses up time and money.

right2bright on January 20, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Christie is a liberal. Democrats supported him because they rightly saw him as a friend and ally of Obama.

Let Christie stay in New Jersey.

Maybe he is the best we can hope for in a NJ governor, but we can do much, much better when it comes to finding a presidential candidate.

bluegill on January 20, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Who is this seldom mentioned Christie fellow?

viking01 on January 20, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Should he be head of the Republican Governor’s Association? No, pass it to Walker.

Marcus on January 20, 2014 at 4:47 PM

If Walker becomes the “establishment” choice, I could live with that.

cdog0613 on January 20, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I don’t think we’ve heard much yet from whomever the GOP’s 2016 candidate will be. Susana Martinez perhaps? Mike Pence? Brian Sandoval? The party is in real need of a no-drama candidate, and I think (hope?) that is what it will get. I don’t think it’s going to be any of the so-called front-runners we’ve been hearing about for months and years. And I think this is why Killery’s team is so freaked out that Krispy Kreme is flaming out. They really thought it was going to be him, and now that it isn’t, they know it has become a wide open field with quite an opening for a stealth candidate to come along and give her some real trouble.

Rational Thought on January 20, 2014 at 4:49 PM

The bluegill monomania is fermenting nicely this election season, isn’t it?

M240H on January 20, 2014 at 4:52 PM

M240H on January 20, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Indeed. Perhaps someone should mention the Arctic Fox as the candidate of choice, just to get something going. Heh.

kingsjester on January 20, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Just wait till election season and that sock really gets going.

Murphy9 on January 20, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Christie is a losing cause and will be nothing but trouble for the GOP. Forget him and find a viable conservative candidate that doesn’t have a bucket of smelly fish in his/her past or present.

rplat on January 20, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Who is that candidate? As long as the person as a ‘R’ beside his name he will be crucified.

Redford on January 20, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Who is that candidate? As long as the person as a ‘R’ beside his name he will be crucified.

Redford on January 20, 2014 at 5:00 PM

concern.

kingsjester on January 20, 2014 at 5:02 PM

I don’t think we’ve heard much yet from whomever the GOP’s 2016 candidate will be. Susana Martinez perhaps? Mike Pence? Brian Sandoval?
Rational Thought on January 20, 2014 at 4:49 PM

What is Martinez’ position on illegal alien amnesty/legalization? If she is strong against amnesty, I would look very favorably on her.

As for Walker, he has already let his real feelings on amnesty slip out:
VIDEO – Scott Walker says “Sure!” to amnesty. Skip to last seconds of video:
http://youtu.be/PJ6cXpFrk0c

Of course, when interviewed by conservative radio hosts, both Walker and Christie will deny being for amnesty, just as Rubio and McCain do. But legalization or whatever euphemism you give it, like “special pathway to citizenship,” is still amnesty. Walker also said he supported Rubio’s amnesty bill.

bluegill on January 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM

If donors are ready to give up on him, it’s most likely because of his meek response to all this. If you’re an innocent man, then look like an innocent man and defend it with the same vigor you embraced Obama just before election day.

Daemonocracy on January 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM

As long as the person as a ‘R’ beside his name he will be crucified.

Redford on January 20, 2014 at 5:00 PM

And you and I both know that, when that happens, it’ll be the party establishment holding the hammer.

CurtZHP on January 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Wharf rats now running down the mooring lines will promptly reverse heading if the SS Christie starts building steam.

It’s long way to 2016.

novaculus on January 20, 2014 at 5:14 PM

If the media only went after Obama with this amount of fervor.

MrX on January 20, 2014 at 5:20 PM

What is Martinez’ position on illegal alien amnesty/legalization? If she is strong against amnesty, I would look very favorably on her.

She’s wisely hedged on it. But something tells me her ultimate stance will not be satisfactory.

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/02/07/susana-martinez-theres-a-lot-of-space-between-amnesty-and-deportations/

cdog0613 on January 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

If Walker becomes the “establishment” choice, I could live with that.

cdog0613 on January 20, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I’m with you here. Right now Walker is my #3 for 2016 behind Paul and Cruz and I’d be happy with Walker if he was the nominee.

Christie has always been about talk while Walker has always been about action. Walker had the guts to take on the powerful public-sector unions in a blue-leaning state and he didn’t back down in the face of recall attempts.

midgeorgian on January 20, 2014 at 5:37 PM

I find it interesting that his worst numbers are in the North East and the West. I think the NE numbers are because they have heard the most about the bridge scandal and they don’t like it. And the West numbers are because Mormons heard the most about the back stabbing of Romney. Since Mormons play a huge part in caucus voting, that does not bode well for him.

Also his budget numbers and jobs numbers are awful. I believe he is a creation of the media, especially the local media. They made him and now they are taking him down.

It is going to take some time and more stuff however. Inertia is a powerful force and Christie was quite big and moving forward very fast. At least the process has begun now instead after he was the nominee.

KMav on January 20, 2014 at 5:39 PM

If not Chris Christie, where will they go? They don’t want a conservative. They don’t want new blood over the old guard. I hope these anonymous “donors” are really starting to sweat. Whatever they end up getting, they deserve to get it good and hard.

gryphon202 on January 20, 2014 at 4:23 PM

It will be Jeb Bush, I think.

It’s kind of amusing to note, this is similar to what happened to the anti-Romney candidates in 2012, with supporters panicked and stampeding from candidate to candidate. It’s nice to see the shoe on the other foot for a change.

If Walker becomes the “establishment” choice, I could live with that.

cdog0613 on January 20, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Yes, I agree. He’s barely acceptable but he has shown he can be persuaded to fight for (and win) at least fiscally conservative policy priorities in the past. But I think Walker is too much of a “right wing extremist” for these party leadership.

Doomberg on January 20, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Did AllahP cry?

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2014 at 5:46 PM

midgeorgian on January 20, 2014 at 5:37 PM

100% agree. Walker has one feather in his cap. Christie has nothing but maybe some conservative scalps. Or maybe some severely conservative scalps and some actual conservatives hairs where he pulled as hard as he could.

On the other hand Walkers feather was earned the hard way with blood, sweat and tears. The feather is real and gives him some leeway moving forward.

KMav on January 20, 2014 at 5:47 PM

OK, establishment Republicans. What now?

the_moll on January 20, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Jeb. Watch. I think Jeb’s the one they’ve really wanted all along.

ddrintn on January 20, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Hillary/Christie

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Anyway, any potential candidate who has to rely on “wealthy GOP donors” is doomed from the outset.

ddrintn on January 20, 2014 at 5:55 PM

How bad those numbers get might determine whether Christie’s viable or not — an unusual position for a would-be nominee for the other party to be in, but when you’re selling yourself as the bridge-building bipartisan choice, that’s life.

If you want to build bridges, you shouldn’t block them.

Some Romney donors hate the guy for betraying Mitt in 2012, other establishment donors simply prefer Jeb (or Scott Walker) and have been eager for space to open up for them in the field.

Scott Walker would probably be a better nominee than Christie–he’s more conservative on many issues, and his milder demeanor is less likely to scare Midwestern swing voters than Christie’s loud bullying. As Governor of Wisconsin, he could attract swing voters in nearby swing states such as Michigan and Iowa. If Walker wins re-election (as Wisconsin Governor) by a wide margin in 2014, he could become the front-runner for 2016.

Steve Z on January 20, 2014 at 5:56 PM

If you want to build bridges, you shouldn’t block them.

Steve Z on January 20, 2014 at 5:56 PM

I bet you someone uses that line verbatim in the primaries.

Stoic Patriot on January 20, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Steve Z on January 20, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Scott Walker definitely could be a player if he wins reelection as Governor in 2014..:)

Dire Straits on January 20, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Forget about 2016, I wouldn’t be too surprised if Christie has to resign as Gov. All these people involved are not going to be willing to go down for him. Self preservation is a powerful motivator.

Tasha on January 20, 2014 at 7:07 PM

“If that’s the guy that’s going to be nationally, his 2016 hopes are done.”

Yea. Fork it.

Tsar of Earth on January 20, 2014 at 7:57 PM

If not Chris Christie, where will they go? They don’t want a conservative. They don’t want new blood over the old guard. I hope these anonymous “donors” are really starting to sweat. Whatever they end up getting, they deserve to get it good and hard.

gryphon202 on January 20, 2014 at 4:23 PM

my bet is Jeb bush ….

conservative tarheel on January 20, 2014 at 8:49 PM