Christie has sometimes diverged from Republican orthodoxy but, according to critics on the left, such apostasies tend to take only stylistic or rhetorical form.
Viewed through their lens, Christie’s willingness to speak warmly of President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy or sometimes excoriate Republicans in Washington is less important than his policy choices.
At an economic level, those choices include a willingness to veto bills raising New Jersey’s minimum wage and support for reducing the earned income tax credit, which is designed to help workers on modest incomes.
On social issues, Christie is adamantly opposed to abortion and only recently gave up on an effort to reverse a court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.
“Ultimately, it doesn’t take much digging to find that Chris Christie is masking himself as a moderate,” said Marcy Stech, the national press secretary for liberal advocacy group Emily’s List.