Iowa GOP to Christie: Don’t skip caucuses

But both Vander Plaats and King said the fastest way to earning credibility as a candidate — in Iowa and beyond — is for Christie to address his perceived problems with the party’s right win by contesting the caucuses.

Avoiding Iowa “would just go completely contrary to what has been billed as one of his greatest strengths, and that is being able to confront issues head on,” Vander Plaats said.

Christie will have to “step up and speak from his heart on the things that he believes” in Iowa, added King.

Speculation that Christie might not contest Iowa grew following the gay marriage decision. Tom Kean (R), a former New Jersey governor and Christie mentor, when asked about the prospect last month told The Hill: “It’s a judgment he’ll make down the line — I doubt it.”

But there are also signs he’s wooing Iowa voters. Christie recently vetoed a New Jersey bill to ban farmers from raising pregnant pigs in crates: Hog farming is a major industry in Iowa.