Via Mediaite, here’s a sign of how much work he needs to do on his basic retail political skills. He’s calling himself a “modern Republican” but if you listen to his platform — deficit reduction, entitlement reform, pro-immigration, pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage — he’s presenting himself as a fairly orthodox libertarian. (There’s nothing here about foreign policy but watch the second clip below, from late 2011, if you think I’m wrong.) If you’re running in a state as blue as Jersey, why oh why would you choose to carry the GOP’s national baggage by calling yourself a “Republican” instead of a “libertarian”? You can run in the GOP primary without chiefly identifying as a member of the party. Ron Paul’s perfected the technique. Note to Geraldo: If you think calling yourself a “modern Republican” is going to bring out the Christie voters in droves, you’re kidding yourself. His blue-state appeal, because of Sandy and because of his sheer Christie-ness, is sui generis.
Still, I think it’d be fun if he ran and won the primary, if only because it’d be the ultimate stress test of whether conservatives will unite behind a disfavored nominee in the interest of knocking off a Democrat. They united behind McCain, they united behind Romney. Will they unite behind a guy prone to saying things like … this?
The Republican Party is more than the “cliché” of recent years, Rivera said. He then blasted the “nativist” wing of the GOP for abandoning President George W. Bush on comprehensive immigration reform.
“They made the brown skin people and other immigrants the enemy,” he said.
In fairness to Geraldo, I’m sure McCain and Graham enthusiastically agree, even if they’re not stupid enough to say so. If he can’t get Jersey conservatives behind him, i.e. if he’s destined to face a third-party tea-party candidate who’ll siphon off ~10 percent of the vote in the general election, then what’s the point? He’s doomed. Exit question: Next up in media warfare — Geraldo versus Touré?