Several former Romney donors and staff told POLITICO that their alumni network has been buzzing over revelations that Christie’s staff was involved in lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that caused massive traffic jams, and were allegedly politically motivated. Some view it as a vindication of Romney’s decision not to tap Christie as his running mate, while others have merely watched in amusement.
The sniping is not insignificant. Christie is not well-liked among tea party activists and leaders, where he is seen as a big-government moderate. So, in order to build a coalition that could give him a chance at the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, he’ll most likely need strong support from Republican establishment types, like those who formed the core of Romney’s formidable operation. And as the party’s last presidential nominee, his alumni network remains influential in the GOP professional and donor classes…
“There is a concern that where there is smoke there is fire,” the operative said. “And this isn’t just one plume of smoke, this is several.”
A former Romney staffer called Christie’s handling of the scandal part of a pattern of behavior by the governor. “There’s a level of arrogance that people I talk to find really just unacceptable,” the ex-staffer said, pointing to Christie’s chronic tardiness for high-dollar fundraisers he did with Romney. “Those are little things, but when you have these very important people waiting, it sends a signal.”
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