The Herd: A Look at The Republican Veepstakes. Today’s Potential Nominee — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at House majority leader, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Born: September 6, 1962 (age 47), Newark, New Jersey

Spouse(s): Mary Pat Christie

Children : Andrew, Sarah, Patrick, and Bridget.

Residence : Mendham Township, New Jersey

Alma mater: University of Delaware, Seton Hall Law School

Religion: Roman Catholic

Profession: Attorney

(Click here for Christie’s White House 2012 page)

Governor Christie decided not to run for President in part because he felt that this was not his time and also because he wants to see through with his committment to the people of New Jersey who elected him three years ago. Logic would dictate that those same reasons would apply to accepting a spot on the presidential ticket as Vice President. But stranger things have happened and if Christie seems to be the magic elixir for an apprehensive electorate that wants a strong fiscal conservative who seemingly stands up to the establishment, then the pressure to run will be put on Christie. In the end I still don’t see him being nominated for Vice President by Romney nor do I see Christie accepting the nomination if Romney did pick him. Besides, it should also be noted that even if he were on the ticket, Christie is unlikely to have the ability to deliver New Jersey’s electoral votes to Romney.

But for reasons that are obvious, he will be at least said to be on the short list.

Christie’s popularity among conservatives nationally is high.  His say it like it is, shoot from the hit approach to the tough issues is something that many people find refreshing in politics and those who see it that way like Chris Christie a lot.  But those who do not see it that way find Christie to be a blowhard and a bully.  Those on the right think the New Jersey Governor is a no-nonsense leader who is more concerned with getting government spending under control, lowering taxes, and as someone who would rather say “no” because because it’s proper public policy than say “yes” because its politically expedient.

On the other hand, those on the left see Christie as an insensitive, and abrasive thug who likes to call people names and is unconcerned with with the needs of working class Americans.

I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusion because if you’re on the left you will believe the latter and if you’re on the right you will believe the former and nothing I say will change your opinion.  But that might be just one of the reasons why Christie will not be on the presidential ticket.  He is a polarizing figure who you either love or hate and as such, it is hard to say which way independent voters will fall on Christie as a voting bloc, and that independent voting bloc is critical to winning the election in November.  If Christie proves to poll well with independent voters, and that somehow his number two spot on the ticket has the ability to win enough of them over to influence their voting Republican in key battleground states like Ohio and Florida, then Christie could be  a must for Romney.  But that is not very likely in 2012.

Pros:

  • His hard hitting, say it like it is, approach is viewed as politically courageous and refreshing.
  • He is far from what anyone can call a career politician
  • He has positive national name ID
  • Christie might be able to appeal to independent voters who like his blunt style
  • He would energize much of the conservative base and even some of the T.E.A. activists
  • He could make Joe Biden look like a comedic sidekick
  • Christie’s presence on the ticket could force the Obama-Biden campaign to invest more time and money in New Jersey, a state they anticipate winning easily

Cons:

  • He has only been in office for almost three years
  • Even if he is on the ticket, Christie may not even be able to carry New Jersey for Romney
  • Christie has not been fully vetted yet and under intense scrutiny his clean record may be tarnished by some minor political indiscretions
  • Conservatives leery of Romney will not appreciate what some may consider to be two Northeast Moderates on the ticket
  • Independents might tend to see Christie as too abrasive

My Assessment:

Christie is certainly a viable option. However his two most appealing qualities, his bluntness and his newness on the political stage, may just be the very same things that cause Mitt Romney to look elsewhere. That in addition to both men being known as Governors from the liberal Northeast, could make several other candidates from outside of the Northeast much more attractive to the Romney campaign. But Christie’s ability to inspire and energize the base might just be what Mitt Romney needs to help avoid any McCain-like voter apathy. In the end, I think Romney will pass on Christie and go for a running mate who is safer, lacks Christie’s confrontational political personality and who has a much stronger and more proven ability to win over independent voters.

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Recent Key Votes

S 1 – Authorizes Same-Sex Marriage

Legislation (Conditional Veto)

Feb. 21, 2012

S 317 – Relating to Contractors

Legislation (Pocket Veto)

Jan. 17, 2012

More Key Votes

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Chris Christie On The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social Issues
Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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Watch Video of Chris Christie’s Full Press Conference Reaffirming He Won’t Run. Positive Public Reaction Results From It.

Click Here To See The Press Conference

Bookmark and Share  In what was a press conference regarding a 2012 run for President, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie definitively answered that he is not running.  Christie stated that due to the numerous requests that he seek the Republican nomination for President, he did in fact reconsider his earlier decision not to run.  In questions asked after the Governor’s statement, he did reveal that the reconsideration process was already going on last week, prior to his giving a speech at the Reagan library.  The Governor said that the inundation of legitimate requests from people inside and outside of politics forced even his wife to believe that they must reconsider his previous decision.  In one instance, Christie told the assembled audience about a Federal Express delivery that came to his children at his home address.   The package was an appeal to them from a farmer in Nebraska who urged the Christie kids to sit down with their father and tell him that it was okay to dedicate himself to a run for President because our nation needed him.  The appeal stated that by doing so, his children would go down in history for their actions that led their father to run for President.

Christie made clear that the decision was his and his alone.  Members of his family had approved of a decision to run, but left the decision to him.  In the end Christie said he decided against running because he just does not feel that the time is right.  He added that he made a promise to the people of New Jersey to stay here and clean up the mess they are in and that is what he intends to do.

“The people of New Jersey elected me to do a job and I am just not ready to walk away”,  said Chrsitie.

According to the Governor, he just did not see any condition which made him feel right about leaving office as Governor of New Jersey.  He confirmed that he made his final decision last night, before going to bed .

When asked by a reporter if his decision had anything to do with some publications indicating that he was not as conservative as some believe, the Governor stated that it had no influence on his final decision.  He said that if anything, once he saw the knives come out and that people were aiming for him, he knew he could win, so that had nothing.

Christie also indicated that he saw a great deal of irresponsible coverage on whether or not he was running.  He stated that there were many things reported as news which were and could only have been speculation.  Whether or not this puts an end to such speculation remains to be seen.

While reaction to Christie’s final decision did bring about some public disappointment, it also seemed to have met with widespread understanding, approval,l and respect.  In a LiveStream/Facebook chat room that was conducted during a live broadcast of the Christie speech, John Mandler of New City, NY wrote,

 “NJ needed him to stay, and he needed to stay to keep faith with those of us who elected him in 2009. He is a greater man for staying the course.”

Other comments from people outside of New Jersey included;

Brandon Riggins, Columbus, OH……

“He’s going to finish up his term as governor, and for that he has earned (even more) of my greatest respect.”

Daniel Casey, Southbridge, MA……

“It sounds like he thought about it seriously and ended up doing the right thing. I respect him even more.”

Jon Maxwell of  Rockwall, Texas put the onus on New Jerseyans and suggested it was up to them to urge Christie run when he wrote…

“Can he serve NJ better by serving as President and helping the nation as a whole, or better as Governor? It’s up to you, NJ.”  

Reaction in New Jersey was also positive but Valerie Brooks-Klein of Trenton, NJ, concurred with Jon Maxwell and wrote,

“I think he needs to serve the entire country. NJ would benefit as well as the rest of the country.  Its time for us to share him.”

Other New Jersey residents were not sas generous as Valerie was when it comes to sharing Chrsitie;

Tammy Case,Red Bank, NJ……

“I respect Governor Christie’s decision to stay in NJ and accomplish the goal he set out to complete.  Once this is done then we can share him..An honest dedicated Politician how often do we get one of those. Amazing Governor.”    

Joani Boucher, Edison, NJ……

“While I believe Gov Christie would make a great President, I’m so glad he’s going to stick around and clean up the mess made by the former Governor’s of NJ.” 

And then there was this was Robert Frank Koscinski of Colonia, NJ……

“We do have the coolest Governor!!!”

At one point during the presser, a string of questions about Christie’s weight were raised by reporters in the context of how much of factor it would have been in the presidential race and in regards to columnists who wrote that his weight would be a problem if he ran for President.  To that Chrisite replied that those who wrote such things know nothing about politics.

For those who do believe his weight would be a problem, as a New Jerseyan, I have just one thing to say.  He ain’t heavy.  he’s my Governor.

If you’re only in your twenties, you may not get that but for those of you who have  been around long enough to know but not too long to be unable to remember, I refer you to the  popular music ballad, “He Ain’t Heavy.  He’s My Brother”, written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell. Originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, the song went on to become a worldwide hit for The Hollies later that year and again for Neil Diamond in 1970.

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Watch a Live Webcast of Chris Christie’s Speech at the Reagan Library

Bookmark and Share    As speculation begins to intensely swirl about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seriously considering  a run for President, today, Tuesday September 26th, the Governor will be in California, delivering a a speech as a part of the Reagan Foundation’s series of Perspectives on Leadership Forum’s.

While it is highly unlikely that Christie will announce that he running during this speech, he could indicate whether or not he really is considering the prospect of run for President in 2012.  Either way, Christie’s speech will be watched and scrutinized by much of the world.  It will be quite interesting to hear what the Governor will say, if for no other than reason that to confirm or deny the claims that Christie is the G.O.P.’s best hope for victory in 2012.

Tickets to th event at the Reagan Library were going for $75.00 a person but don’t worry about trying to get a last minute ticket and flight to Cali for the event.  According to the Reagan Foundation, tickets have been sold out for quite a some time now.  But you will have the opprtunity to join with White House 2012 and see the speech via a live webcast at 9:00 pm EST/6:pm PDT.

Just click the on the information link below to view it.

The Live Simulcast has concluded. To see a recorded version of the speech and to read a complete transcript of it, click here

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is Said to Be Ready to Run for President

Bookmark and Share    While I am not convinced that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is in fact running for President, I can not simply ignore the information I have been privy to through three separate inside sources who indicate to me that Christie will run.

According to my sources, Governor Christie is indeed preparing to announce that he will run for the Republcian presidential nomination.  In addition to my own sources, other independent sources verify these claims. Yet I still remain unconvinced.

In recent days, numerous political reporters, have first been reporting that the Governor is close to running and have then backtracked on their reports. Several days ago, news analyst Jonathon Alter declared that Chris Christie was preparing for a run for President. This revelation was based on sources which told him that Christie began using focus groups to prepare for the run. But Alter was later forced to recant his declaration based on what he called his sources misleading him to believe that Christie sanctioned these focus groups.

On Friday, The Daily Caller reported that former staffers of Tim Pawlenty have been in ongoing talks with Christie about him officially placing his hat in the ring and incorporating them into his campaign. TheDC also reported that the staffers of the now former presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, have even rejected overtures to join the potential campaigns of other as of yet undeclared candidates in favor of a potential Christie candidacy. However later in the day, The DC was compelled to update their earlier report by pointing out that close Christie adviser Michael DuHaime made it clear to them that the Pawlenty people were not having such discussions with the Governor. They also reported that while DuHaime did confirm that a call took place between Tim Pawlenty and Christie last Sunday but it was nothing more than a condolence call offered by Governor Christie upon Pawlenty announcing that he was withdrawing from the Republican presidential race.

All of this simply indicates that there are many rumors circulating about Christie and while I am hard pressed to buy into rumors, I can not deny that rather reliable New Jersey sources have indicated to me that the Governor will run. In recent days I have noted some of my own suspicions about Chrsitie based upon a number of press savvy events that he embarked upon regarding some of his legislative initiatives. And in a recent post for White House 2012’s sister blog, POLITICS 24/7, I pointed out that Christie has indeed been posturing himself well for a presidential run. One such case which I cited was Christie’s distribution of a video which contained rather well phrased description of what he believes leadership to be.

Still, I am not convinced that Chris Christie will run. At least not for President and at least not for President in 2012. I do see a good chance of Christie being considering for any willing to accept a vice presidential nomination in 2012. But not for the Republican presidential nomination.

Maybe it is Christie’s longstanding and adamant claims that he is beyond a shadow of any doubt, not running. Maybe it is his having less than two years in office as Governor and not enough accomplishments to hang his on yet but whatever it is, I just don’t see Christie jumping in to the race.

Right now many of Christie’s actions could easily misinterpreted as preparations for running for President when in fact they may just simply be attempts to put himself in a standing that is good enough for him to hit the campaign trail in New Jersey and help Republicans in state legislative races take back one or both houses of the state legislature. In November, the entire state assembly and senate is up for election in newly drawn districts and winning at least one of the two legislative houses could be critical to the success or failure of Christie’s agenda in the two years leading up to his own reelection campaign.

But while I have my doubts that Christie is maneuvering himself for a 2012 presidential run, others who supposedly know more than me indicate that he is. So who am I to say otherwise? Besides, a few months ago I was certain that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was running for President.

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