It was seven months after Hurricane Sandy when Christie paid a visit to Ocean City, New Jersey. He planned to spend thirty minutes walking a few blocks on the boardwalk. Ninety minutes later, he hadn’t made it as far as one. He posed for nearly one hundred photos, hugged thirty-eight women and eleven men, kissed nine babies, turned down three offers of junk food (“You been readin’ the papers? I can’t”), and fielded countless entreaties to run for president.
And why not? Christie might be the only politician in America who had a good 2013. In New Jersey, he was stalwart in the wake of Sandy—first providing storm victims a shoulder to cry on, then browbeating D.C. politicians into delivering the aid money those victims desperately needed. Nationally, he was a lone voice of reason in an increasingly insane GOP, picking fights with everyone from John Boehner (over that Sandy relief) to Rand Paul (national security). Along the way, he turned himself into that most unlikely of pols: a happy warrior.
A new national poll indicates, that for the first time, there may be an early frontrunner in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination…
Twenty-four percent of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP questioned in the survey say they’d be likely to support Christie for the Republican nomination, up seven percentage points from a CNN poll in early September. Back then, Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the House Budget chairman and the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, were virtually tied at the top of the GOP list, with Christie at 17% and Ryan at 16%…
“Among Republicans making more than $50,000, Christie wins 32% support, 20 points higher than Cruz, Ryan, or Marco Rubio, all of whom get 12% among higher-income GOPers, and 23 points higher than Paul,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “But among Republicans who make less than $50,000 a year, Christie’s support drops 19 points, only good enough for second place behind Paul.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday said he does not think much about his status as front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination…
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Christie said. “It’s December of 2013. It’s completely meaningless.”
Christie, 51, said the lead in the presidential sweepstakes can change “any number of times” between now and the 2016 primaries.
If Gov. Chris Christie thinks voters won’t notice if he promises one thing when he’s running for governor, then another when he’s running for president, he’s dreaming.
Yet that’s what he appears to be doing when it comes to the Dream Act. When the governor was seeking the Latino vote weeks ago, he assured advocates he’d support New Jersey’s version of this bill.
But now that he’s been re-elected with 51 percent of the Hispanic vote, he’s backpedaling. Christie told a radio station last week that he would not sign the Dream Act, which passed the state Senate and is expected to be taken up soon by the Assembly, for reasons that make no sense…
The real reason for his flip-flop? Christie has his eyes on the presidency. And if he has to roll over Latinos to get there, he’ll do it.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) forcefully denied Monday that he has switched positions on in-state tuition for young illegal immigrants, saying he continues to support the idea but won’t sign the specific bill passed by the state legislature…
“I didn’t support any particular piece of legislation, and I still support tuition equality,” Christie said, according to a transcript. “Here’s what I don’t support: I don’t support tuition aid grants in addition to in-state tuition rates; never said that I did, and don’t as we stand here today.”…
Christie also argued that the New Jersey legislation would give young illegal immigrants a benefit that isn’t even available to U.S. citizens. He said that if an illegal immigrant from outside the state attended a New Jersey school for three years, the bill would allow for him or her to get in-state tuition, while a U.S. citizen from outside the state in the same situation wouldn’t get that benefit.
Gov. Chris Christie’s “bizarre behavior’’ in refusing to say he’ll support a possible GOP challenger to Gov. Cuomo next year could derail his chances to become president, state and national GOP insiders have told The Post.
“Christie already has a problem with many Republicans refusing to forgive him because of his embrace of [President] Obama and his socially liberal policies,’’ said a nationally prominent GOP operative. “But this bizarre behavior in suggesting he won’t help a Republican defeat a Democratic governor, and a Cuomo no less, could finish off his chances of becoming his party’s nominee for president in 2016,’’ the operative continued.
Cuomo claimed last week that Christie, the new head of the Republican Governors Association — an organization whose purpose is to elect GOP governors — had quickly called him to say The Post was wrong in reporting the New Jersey governor was ready to back Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, should he become the Republican nominee for governor next year.
“I spoke to Gov. Christie this morning, who told me the exact opposite,’’ Cuomo contended in reference to last week’s “Inside Albany” column.
“I was kind of stunned when I saw reports both in the New York Post and the Daily News, not coming from (Astorino) himself but from people in the ‘Astorino camp,’ whatever that is,” Christie said. “He has not said he’s running for governor. Our meeting was essentially me and Mary Pat with Rob and his wife asking us about what it was like both to run for governor with young children and to serve as governor with young children. That was the entirety of the conversation. He didn’t say he was going to run and he didn’t seek support.”
Christie said when Cuomo called to ask about the meeting, he told the New York governor exactly that.
Christie said going forward, as chairman of the RGA he’ll wait until the GOP field in New York shakes out after the primary and then determine if a viable challenger emerges before pledging support.
“As RGA chairman, we’re looking to elect Republican governors in every state. Once that’s cleared up as to who the Republican candidate is going to be, then we’ll make an assessment at the RGA about the worthiness of investing in that race,” he said.
The four weeks since Christie routed his weak Democratic opponent to win a second term show how easily troubles in New Jersey can undermine the national image Christie is trying to project. Hispanic officials in New Jersey accused Christie of flip-flopping on a bill that would allow in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants. And he tried, but failed, to oust the Republican minority leader of the state Senate, who happens to be the son of a close ally.
The home-grown headlines of late — a potpourri of potential political complications and hints of criticism that the governor represents a party of one, himself — suggest rough sledding ahead for Christie.
His mentor, former Republican Gov. Tom Kean, publicly expressed disappointment with Christie for covertly trying to oust his son, Tom Kean Jr., as state Senate minority leader, in a coup attempt. Making matters worse, the move was widely seen as the Republican governor doing a favor for Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney.
The elder Kean suggested in an interview that Christie’s political skills are about to be tested at a new level. “If you think how often the front-runner at this point has gotten the nomination,” he said, “it’s very seldom.”
Central to that campaign was this aura of inevitability he projected. His handling of duper storm Sandy, and his welcoming of President barack Obama before the 2012 election, further fed into that. This helped his reelection effort by making him draw the weakest opponent as the stronger ones (read: Cory Booker, who trailed 53-43 in post Sandy polls) refused to run. It also didn’t allow for his weaker opponent to gain any traction, as the narrative was already set- people wanted to know how much he would win by, not if he would win. Putting that all together adds up to a campaign strategy that was about depressing the Democrats turnout- in a solidly Democrat state, without resorting to the negative and cynical attack ads that usually accompany that sort of strategy. And when your opponent’s campaign can’t raise money or get any positive media coverage due to the way your campaign set up the story of the election, then you deserve credit for your big win, as Christie does…
But Christie’s appeal to New Jersey voters was very much his inevitability (which he won’t have in 2016) and that people came to identify with his as someone they can lean on after Sandy. He also made his number one selling point clear in the open of his victory speech when he said, “You see, what people have never understood about us, is that I didn’t any introduction to all of you. I know you, because I’m one of you.”
And being a “Jersey Guy” doesn’t necessarily translate to a winning campaign strategy in trying to win over the 49 other states.
A year later, I still hear the same kinds of comments from friends and colleagues: educated women, mostly in their 30s or 40s, both married and single. They are self-professed middle-of-the road Democrats, wholeheartedly pro-choice and (maybe less wholeheartedly) pro-government. Yet deep down, they like Mr. Christie. They know he’s pro-life and are well aware of his penchant for bluster; they are at least vaguely familiar with his opposition to gay marriage and his criticism of Obamacare. Still, they haven’t written him off. Not entirely…
Hard to believe, but he of the short fuse and flushed face has emerged as the last reasonable Republican. And that hasn’t gone unnoticed by women who lean in and lean left, women who are the vanguard of a demographic revolution: In four out of 10 households, women are now the breadwinners. They represent 58 percent of the workforce, own 30 percent of the nation’s small businesses and account for 85 percent of all consumer purchases. By 2018, one-third of all new jobs in this country will be generated by female-owned small businesses, according to research from the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute. Now more than ever, women are receptive to tax-cutting—pro-business pitches that the GOP has historically targeted to its white, male base.
To preserve his appeal with women, Christie must remain Christie. Any pivots to the right, as is the natural arc of the GOP these days, will undermine his goodwill. Nobody likes a fake, and women whiff them a mile away, which is why beating HRC won’t be easy. She has been in the unforgiving glare of the national spotlight for more than two decades. Women know what they’re getting from her and have come to cherish it. Little could surprise us at this point, except, perhaps, pitting her against someone with the kind of confidence and down-home charisma that vaguely calls to mind the other Clinton.
The tea party’s ruling emotion is a desire to smite those who won’t bow to its high-def vision of righteousness. So Christie’s promise to work with others — including the radicals’ designated enemies — would amount to playing with the devil, would it not?
The Republican base has shown an amazing ability to force the party’s candidates into politically self-destructive stances. That’s its price for the nomination. If the tea partyers can’t force a candidate to renounce previous beliefs on their rack of purist ideology, no one will fear them…
Can you hear the smashing of tea party china? Christie is everything the right-wingers can’t stand. If he becomes the face of the Republican Party, it’s all over for them. To the right, Christie is an existential threat.