Christie rips Rubio: A reliable conservative wouldn’t have backed amnesty and then run away; Update: Rubio camp responds

posted at 8:01 pm on January 5, 2016 by Allahpundit

A brutal counterattack after Rubio’s Super PAC dropped not one but two ads on him yesterday.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but: Second look at Chris Christie?

“I just don’t think Marco Rubio’s going to be able to slime his way to the White House,” Christie said. “He wants to put out a whole bunch of negative ads? Go ahead. I hope that he will acknowledge at some point that I couldn’t care less.”

Christie mocked Rubio as naive in the arts of political street-fighting — “He’s never been in a tough race in his life,” he said dismissively — and tore into Rubio’s work in the so-called Gang of Eight on a 2013 immigration bill that has since become anathema to conservatives.

“The guy who advocated for amnesty and then ran away when the topic got too hot tells you two things: He’s not a reliable conservative, A, and B, whenever it gets too hot, Marco turns tail and runs,” he said. “I’m not the least bit concerned that Marco Rubio will hurt me with conservatives. Marco Rubio has work himself to do with conservatives.”…

“If Marco thinks that by having his big donors from Madison Avenue put a few ads up in New Hampshire is going to shake me, that just again shows his inexperience and shows you what he’ll be like against Hillary Clinton,” he said. “If he’s overreacting to this — now — that just proves my point that he’s not ready to be the nominee.”

Dilemmas, dilemmas. Do I let Christie slide on this, given that I’ve soured a bit on Rubio lately? Or do I fact-check him, spoiling an otherwise highly enjoyable beating? Let’s fact-check him, as I need something to fill out this otherwise lame “smackdown!” post. Fact one: Of course Rubio’s been in a tough race before. In his 2010 Senate run in Florida, he started as a prohibitive underdog against a popular sitting governor who was backed by the GOP leadership. The fact that he not only went on to annihilate Charlie Crist but to drive him from the party doesn’t mean the race was easy, it means that a lot was working in Rubio’s favor on the trail — his own formidable retail skills, tea-party fee-vah on the right, and the sheer odiousness of Crist’s soulless careerist opportunism laying itself bare. All in all, it was an impressive win. Certainly more impressive than Christie riding post-Sandy unity in New Jersey to reelection over a token Democratic opponent.

Fact two: Since when does Chris Christie think taking money from fabulously rich New Yorkers is a bad thing? He’s not a fundraising juggernaut like Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz, but he’s got his fair share of billionaires kicking in. Until Bridgegate knocked him down in 2014, he was widely assumed to have the inside track for big bucks from Wall Street Republicans: Not only was he a tri-state area guy and a sitting governor, he was exactly the sort of moderate purplish GOPer that socially liberal New York “conservatives” prefer. In fact, when Christie was nearly drafted into the primaries to oppose Romney in 2012, it was members of the donor class who were his biggest fans. Christie knocking Rubio for making bank from NYC is like Jeb Bush knocking Hillary for having too many political connections. You wouldn’t be where you are if you weren’t just as guilty, bub.

Fact three: On the charge that Rubio isn’t a reliable conservative because he backed amnesty with the Gang of Eight, I award Christie zero Pinocchios. But it’s not completely true that Rubio “ran away.” Granted, he’s a “security first” guy now, not a comprehensivist. To this day, though, he backs a path to citizenship for illegals and has said so at presidential candidate forums. Unless I missed it, he’s never once claimed that comprehensive immigration reform was a bad idea and can never work. He says that the strategy can’t work right now, with Congress split the way it is and with an untrustworthy president like Obama in charge, but he hasn’t reversed course entirely — even though that would be the logical thing to do to reassure conservatives that he’s learned his lesson from the 2013 push. You can fault him for not changing his mind, of course, but then fault him for that, not for supposedly having run away. Arguably his whole problem with the right is that he hasn’t run nearly far enough. And by the way, where does Christie get off lecturing other Republicans about being soft on amnesty? I know we’re all supposed to pretend he’s an immigration hawk now, but he’s awfully late to the party. What makes him any more trustworthy on this issue than Rubio is?

But never mind all that. Although I continue to believe that Rubio is the center-right’s only hope against Trump and Cruz, there’s really no denying that a Trump/Cruz/Christie race would be a lot — a lot — more fun than a Trump/Cruz/Rubio race would. It would be nasty; it would be colorful; it would be pure spun blog gold. Dude, it could happen. Your call, New Hampshire. I’ll leave you with this from 2010, right around the same time Rubio was pretending to be a border hawk in the Florida Senate race. My, how things change in politics. Exit question: Did Marco Rubio really say to a New Hampshire audience that no one who’s ever run for president understands immigration better than he does? I realize that pols need to try to make their weaknesses into strengths, but that’s like Obama saying no one understands foreign policy better than he does. He is more practiced at it than most, but practice doesn’t always make perfect, eh?

Update: Rubio spokesman Alex Conant e-mails:

“It’s interesting that Gov. Christie would rather attack conservatives than defend his own record supporting common core, gun control and expanding Obamacare. If Christie was honestly ‘telling it like it is’, he would say there is nothing inaccurate about the new ads and stop attacking Marco.”


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Comments

The establishment is eating itself for now. It’s great. Really hope Cruz wins Iowa and can take SC.

Flapjackmaka on January 5, 2016 at 8:03 PM

Battle of the idiot liberals.

Pork-Chop on January 5, 2016 at 8:04 PM

#6 candidate rips #3 candidate. Combined they are polling at less than half Trump’s numbers. So, we should give a turd, why?

50 comments or bust.

Right Mover on January 5, 2016 at 8:05 PM

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but: Second look at Chris Christie?

Not for me. He’s not reliably tough, if he needs something he’ll go all squish.

Cindy Munford on January 5, 2016 at 8:06 PM

Christie rips Rubio: A reliable conservative wouldn’t have backed amnesty and then run away

That’s extremely misleading. What Christie said was that a reliable conservative wouldn’t have backed amnesty (period). Christie also said he’s can’t take the heat on controversial issues and runs away when the going gets tough. The latter is a mark of character, not political philosophy.

IOW, Rubio’s not a conservative and he is a pu$$y.

I agree.

Dusty on January 5, 2016 at 8:07 PM

Slime seems an unnecessarily harsh term.

Cindy Munford on January 5, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Christie rips Rubio: A reliable conservative wouldn’t have backed amnesty and then run away

The ‘King Of Amnesty’ is not gonna take this lying down!

TheMadHessian on January 5, 2016 at 8:10 PM

I love to see Ruling Class BIG BIG BIG Gov Progressives arguing for their brand of “republicanism”.

2016……?

CRUZ CRUZ CRUZ

PappyD61 on January 5, 2016 at 8:11 PM

The war we want.

nobar on January 5, 2016 at 8:12 PM

The Obama hugger criticizes the Schumer hugger.

Flush them both.

PappyD61 on January 5, 2016 at 8:14 PM

Back bench slap fight. Next.

Mr. Arrogant on January 5, 2016 at 8:14 PM

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but: Second look at Chris Christie?

Someone needs to do a AP Hitler Bunker youtube video…Ed and Hewitt can make guest appearances. I want to see the part where mythical GOP candidates are moved around the map by AP…Romney will go here…and Paul Ryan will hold this, and…I know Rubio will come through…

Just kidding…just kidding…:)

William Eaton on January 5, 2016 at 8:14 PM

Look, we already had Howard Taft and Bush as presidents. Why would we need Christ Christie and Rubio?

Been there, done that.

Let’s try something that works.

HugoDrax on January 5, 2016 at 8:15 PM

I think the Christie/Rubio war might turn out to be more interesting than Rubio/Cruz, Trump/Cruz.

El_Terrible on January 5, 2016 at 8:15 PM

OOOOOOOH! Two RINO’s playing slappy slap with eachother.

Enchanting. Motivating. Exhilarating.

/
There’s your sign, boys

Key West Reader on January 5, 2016 at 8:15 PM

The only thing missing from this blog post is a Mortimer Huntsman reference …

ShainS on January 5, 2016 at 8:15 PM

No second look at Christie. But then, I never took a first look.

I do, however, appreciate his going after Rubio.

INC on January 5, 2016 at 8:16 PM

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but: Second look at Chris Christie?

LOL, good one:) It is funny seeing moderates having to cycle through their crappy choices…Rubio, Kascich, or Christie. Each one incompetent in his own special way.

sauldalinsky on January 5, 2016 at 8:17 PM

I think the Christie/Rubio war might turn out to be more interesting than Rubio/Cruz, Trump/Cruz.

El_Terrible on January 5, 2016 at 8:15 PM

If you’re Hillary Clinton, maybe. Two RINO’s walk into a bar – one rotunda v. one puny little opportunist.. in the ring.

Aaaaand…

/Who the hell would watch this crap? Circus people?

Key West Reader on January 5, 2016 at 8:17 PM

The Duel
By Eugene Field

…Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)

*Burp*

Fallon on January 5, 2016 at 8:17 PM

The only saving grace in this protracted RINO spectacle is– Karl Rove remains incontinent.

Mr. Arrogant on January 5, 2016 at 8:17 PM

I’m having trouble keeping up with the latest rippings….

d1carter on January 5, 2016 at 8:18 PM

“It’s interesting that Gov. Christie would rather attack conservatives than defend his own record supporting common core, gun control and expanding Obamacare. If Christie was honestly ‘telling it like it is’, he would say there is nothing inaccurate about the new ads and stop attacking Marco.”

Translation – We REALLY don’t want to have to pretend that Rubio is sorry for the Gang of 8 and that he won’t pass a massive amnesty bill with Paul Ryan the first chance he gets.

But, Christie actually voted for Rubio and Schumer’s amnesty bill through his surrogate Chiesa, after Chuckie gave Christie a call.

Amnesty destroys everything that it touches, but greedy politicians still want to take the payday, by pushing amnesty they will have good jobs lined up once they get voted out.

Redstone on January 5, 2016 at 8:19 PM

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but: Second look at Chris Christie?

Dude. No.

Christie actually sounds even more dangerous on foreign policy than ultra-hawk Rubio. The two of them (and Fiorina) are nuts–right along with Mrs. Clinton–in basically calling for a military confrontation with the Russians that could easily lead to WWIII.

As for other issues, Christie is too moderate/wishy-washy (guns, climate change).

Aizen on January 5, 2016 at 8:19 PM

Other camp responds…

Most agree, neither is worth a crap..

Trump and Cruz polls up another 2 points tomorrow…

celt on January 5, 2016 at 8:22 PM

RINO on RINO.

rbj on January 5, 2016 at 8:23 PM

#6 candidate rips #3 candidate. Combined they are polling at less than half Trump’s numbers. So, we should give a turd, why?

50 comments or bust.

Right Mover on January 5, 2016 at 8:05 PM

If an ankle biter bites another ankle biter’s ankle, does anyone notice besides the bitten ankle biter?

And what is Huntsman Kasich up to these days?

de rigueur on January 5, 2016 at 8:28 PM

I think the Christie/Rubio war might turn out to be more interesting than Rubio/Cruz, Trump/Cruz.

El_Terrible on January 5, 2016 at 8:15 PM

If you’re Hillary Clinton, maybe. Two RINO’s walk into a bar – one rotunda v. one puny little opportunist.. in the ring.

Aaaaand…

/Who the hell would watch this crap? Circus people?

Key West Reader on January 5, 2016 at 8:17 PM

After careful thought and consideration, I do believe that Bill Clinton and/or, et al The Clinton Foundation is responsible for this “let’s throw some sh*t to the wind and see where it lands” advertisement.

I hope it lands in Hillary’s mouth.

Bill, hang it up and let her go to prison already. You’re killing us out here. Have mercy

Key West Reader on January 5, 2016 at 8:32 PM

I’ll say this. In 2016 I’m a single-issue voter. If you take the appropriate stance on immigration I will forgive being pro-choice, pro-higher taxes, even moderately pro-gun control. I’ve forgiven Trump these heresies and I would be willing to forgive Christie as well. Not saying Christie has the appropriate stance on immigration just speaking hypothetically. The bottom line is, either America will end mass immigration from the third world or mass immigration from the third world will end America.

Lamont Cranston on January 5, 2016 at 8:32 PM

A reliable conservative wouldn’t have backed amnesty or hug obama days before what was deemed a close election.

voiceofreason on January 5, 2016 at 8:34 PM

and it’s only the 5th of January

gerrym51 on January 5, 2016 at 8:34 PM

I don’t really care much for Christie anymore but I do enjoy him wiping that smugness from Rubio.

The Florida race, well… it might’ve been a bit harder for Rubio were he actually honest with all those Tea Party types who got him over the finish line and what he intended to do on the immigration front (hint – it’s the opposite of what he promised)

Rubio taking money from big-ticket donors does become an issue because of Rubio selling out his constituents on amnesty, his association with Democrats (and especially NY Senator Schumer), and related to the amnesty thing… exactly what are his values if the promises he made during election time were thrown out? So pointing to circumstantial evidence that someone can be bought about someone who has already been bought – it’s the whole “low-energy” thing with Jeb.

As for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, I think his honesty on that issue only appears in Spanish-only language stations. He’s a lot… less honest about “what he learned” when he speaks in English.

If it’s a choice between Christie and Rubio – I’ll take Hugs over Thirsty

Ukiah on January 5, 2016 at 8:36 PM

Lamont Cranston on January 5, 2016 at 8:32 PM

Well said.

I’m just curious as to why they are throwing spit to the wind testing Christie with Rubio v Christie and Trump? Come on, Christie makes Rubio look like a pipsqueak.

… I think this MSM experiment will fail. Christie in the ring with Trump. LOL

We need an eyeroll button.

Key West Reader on January 5, 2016 at 8:41 PM

Chugs versus Big Ears…

Fighting for 5th place is hard.

PappyD61 on January 5, 2016 at 8:45 PM

What early state do either of these two losers win?

This is a two person race.

PappyD61 on January 5, 2016 at 8:46 PM

Jeb’s pac is starting to hit Rubio harder down here. I am already so over the non-stop ads from Jeb and Rubio. I wouldn’t vote for either of them.

CoffeeLover on January 5, 2016 at 8:52 PM

Two crumbs beating each other about the face and neck. Guttersnipe Marco with his billionaire provided peashooter taking on Crispy.

kingsmill on January 5, 2016 at 8:57 PM

Jeb’s pac is starting to hit Rubio harder down here. I am already so over the non-stop ads from Jeb and Rubio. I wouldn’t vote for either of them.

CoffeeLover on January 5, 2016 at 8:52 PM

I am with you CL. Lets not vote for them, in fact lets just say we voted for them and go to the polling station and tell them that we wish to cancel our votes for them.

That way be both can vote for them -1 times.

SpongePuppy on January 5, 2016 at 9:07 PM

I gagged:
Crispy says that Ruby won’t hurt him with conservatives.
I suppose he is right.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 5, 2016 at 9:12 PM

SpongePuppy on January 5, 2016 at 9:07 PM

A plan (waving) :)

CoffeeLover on January 5, 2016 at 9:16 PM

a reliable conservative wouldn’t hug and praise obummer just before the election.

telephone2 on January 5, 2016 at 9:21 PM

In 2010 Rubio was elected partly because of his stong opposition to amnesty.

Two years later, after being elected and going to Washington, he is for not just any amnesty but for citizenship.

He has sold his soul to the establishment and, if elected, his position on anything will be negotiable.

He has positioned himself as center-right at this time. But, in actuality, he is just a squish like most Republicans in Washington.

theo22 on January 5, 2016 at 9:24 PM

There is an important difference between Rubio and Christie. For the former, him being an intellectual lightweight, the race is President or bust because his days as a senator are tapering off. The latter, RINO warts and all, is a formidable administrator and fundraiser who wouldn’t be out of place as Labor Sec, NLRB member, or even Atty Gen in anyone’s cabinet.

Rix on January 5, 2016 at 9:37 PM

…there’s really no denying that a Trump/Cruz/Christie race would be a lot — a lot — more fun than a Trump/Cruz/Rubio race would…

Pure gold!

Sarah-Cuda on January 5, 2016 at 9:52 PM

Two libs enter, no one leaves.

portlandon on January 5, 2016 at 10:18 PM

Christie is the best of the moderates.

cimbri on January 6, 2016 at 4:44 AM

go kiss some more muslim ass, Christie, you fat, sad, clown of a “conservative”

thedevilinside on January 6, 2016 at 8:19 AM

Allahpundit, I remember when you said you’d never vote for Rubio after his Gang of Eight betrayal, even if he was the nominee. Despite all your bloggerishness in tantalizing us with this or that shift of support for the candidates, I still remember that. You can’t fool me with “souring on Rubio.” :)

Vatican Watcher on January 6, 2016 at 9:44 AM

50 comments or bust.

Right Mover on January 5, 2016 at 8:05 PM

Jan 5, 2016 8:01 PM by Allahpundit
49 Comments »

50

Pain Train on January 6, 2016 at 12:05 PM