Senate choice could help Christie mend GOP ties

If Christie decides to make a high-risk pick that could earn the approval of national Republicans who have turned on him recently, he could turn to someone from the Tea Party wing of the GOP.

The likeliest person to fill that role would be state Sen. Mike Doherty, an outspoken social and economic conservative who endorsed Ron Paul in both of his presidential campaigns and has a strong following in the Republican base.

But in an interview with RCP on Monday, Doherty all but dismissed the possibility that Christie would heave a long pass in his direction and potentially jeopardize his gubernatorial re-election hopes.

“Gov. Christie is a very smart politician — he’s going to want someone who’s a solid wing man, who’s going to enhance his ability to be re-elected,” Doherty said. “I come from a slightly different wing of the Republican Party — the more conservative, libertarian wing. So I think he’s got a lot better choices that aren’t going to open up opportunities for Democrats to bring up all the conservative issues. I’m just being real with you.”