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A quick look at presidential hopeful Chris Christie


A look at preparations by Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., for a potential 2016 presidential campaign:

Nondenial denial: "Yes, and later." - May, when asked whether he's thinking about running for president, and when he'll decide, at a fiscal conference in Washington. Later in Tennessee: "My mother taught me a long time ago: Stupid people make decisions before they have to. And I'm not stupid."

Book: Not yet, and it's a notable gap.

Iowa visits: Summer visit expected, to help Gov. Terry Branstad in his re-election campaign. Can test his theory that "they love me in Iowa, too." Hosted New Jersey fundraiser for Branstad in May. Several trips before 2012 election. More politically driven travel is coming now that he's chairman of Republican Governors Association for 2014 election year.

New Hampshire: It's been awhile. Three visits in 2012 campaign, slated to return in June. The day after his November 2013 re-election victory in New Jersey, the New Hampshire GOP announced the hiring of Christie's regional director, Matt Mowers, as its executive director. And Christie's former spokesman, Colin Reed, was recently hired to manage Scott Brown's New Hampshire Senate campaign.

South Carolina: Summer visit expected, to raise money for Gov. Nikki Haley. Came in 2012 on behalf of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Foreign travel: Yes. First official trip overseas was in July 2012, to Israel, then Jordan. Visited Western Wall, met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who told him Israel and New Jersey are similar in size and population but New Jersey probably has "better neighbors."

Meet the money: Yes, became GOP governors chairman in November, giving him regular access to GOP's top national donors as he helps raise money for candidates. Some big donors, though, question whether he's still a viable prospect after scandal surfaced over politically motivated traffic tie-ups in New Jersey. Was among a handful of high-profile Republicans to meet with super-donor Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas at his resort casino in late March. Followed up with more Jewish donors at New York event attended by Adelson in May. Courted donors for his re-election campaign in 2013 national tour, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted an event at his Palo Alto, California, home.

Networking: Yes, broad outreach now as chairman of GOP governors group, a position that offers regular face time with top party officials and donors nationwide. Campaigned for Sen. Lamar Alexander in Tennessee, irritating Alexander's primary opponent, who called Christie's record in New Jersey "dumb governance." Spring speech pleased activists at Conservative Political Action Conference, which snubbed him last year because he'd been too chummy with President Barack Obama in Superstorm Sandy's aftermath. Addressed Republican Jewish Coalition spring meeting in Las Vegas, spending a full day with top donors and GOP operatives. Scheduled to speak at Romney's annual Utah gathering in June.

Hog the TV: Not so much since traffic scandal surfaced. Last year, tended to avoid the usual sober circuit - most conspicuously, the Sunday news shows, although he appeared on four of them the day after his 2013 re-election - in favor of cutting up on late-night TV.

Do something: Won November 2013 re-election, becoming first Republican to earn more than 50 percent of the New Jersey vote in a quarter-century. Led state's response to Superstorm Sandy. Agreed to expand state's Medicaid program under Obama's health law, while some other Republican governors have refused to do so. Vetoed a bill that would have sanctioned gay marriage but declined to appeal a court ruling that legalized it. Signed law increasing pension and health costs for public workers. Facing massive state budget deficit, proposed slashing pension fund payments over the next year to balance budget.

Take a stand: Bridges partisan divide, though some holes have been punched in that reputation. Showed in disaster response that pragmatism trumped party labels, but questions arose later about whether politics played a part in recovery aid. And when state's budget mess got rough, he blamed Democrats. Moderate stance could be a strength in a presidential election, although a weakness in striving for his party's nomination, because accommodation is not what core constituencies of either party want to see. But he's pleased some conservatives by taking on labor unions and resisting tax increases despite pressure to close budget gap.

Baggage: If you have to declare "I am not a bully," you've got a problem. Christie apologized in January for highway lane closures near the George Washington Bridge apparently ordered by his aides as political retribution against a Democratic mayor who did not endorse him for re-election. He denied knowledge of the machinations. The episode deepened questions about what Christie, or at least those around him, will do to win, and took a toll in his popularity. Investigations continue. Partial deflection: A nearly two-hour news conference packed with apologies, but it didn't put questions to rest.

Shadow campaign: RGA chairmanship allows him to grow his national profile with voters and party officials with regular travel and key appearances. Began building broad coalition of donors through his national fundraising tour in spring 2013. There were also "draft Christie" movements in Iowa and South Carolina in 2011, where activists continue to support him. Hired senior Romney media mind Russ Schriefer in late spring 2013. But the shadow of scandal still hangs over his shadow campaign.

Social media: More engaged in Twitter ("It was great to be able to visit with the owners of Rossi's Rent-A-Rama in Ortley today") than Facebook, where posts are by staff. No second-guessing himself in this postelection tweet: "if I walk away with 70 percent of my agenda, NJ is 70 percent better off than it would have been otherwise."

Join the discussion

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kcarthey June 10 2014 at 7:08 AM

To most, the bridge incident really is not that important. The perception that Christie is a big, fat, obnoxious loudmouth is. He simply lacks the dignity the Presidency requires.

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27 replies
weeziebathome June 10 2014 at 6:50 AM

This isn't over. The Feds are investigating. It is not that easy to make up lies, pretend you know nothing, have NJ pay for your own private investigation, dodge questions and have people lie for you. Remember, Bridget Kelly and others who said they would talk for immunity? Don't be surprised if the FEDS have already heard an earfull. CC is a disgrace - and he will be disgraced. An eye for an eye. Karma.

Flag Reply +34 rate up
10 replies
hanlon1212 June 10 2014 at 5:11 AM

Clinton has an overall approval rating of 68 %.

JEBghazi has the highest among Republicons , at 21 %.

Why do you think all the Bush cronies are coming out of the woodwork , out from under their rocks , urinals and septic tanks , to snap at her ankles ?

Christie NEVER had a chance .

Flag Reply +25 rate up
17 replies
larwilb60 June 10 2014 at 7:51 AM

If Christie is the best the Republican Party can put up for President then I will sit this election out....he is disgusting and rude! He cant even control his own weight let alone a country!

Flag Reply +25 rate up
9 replies
Meh... June 10 2014 at 10:12 AM

"can Christie's hopes for 2016 be saved?"

That's a joke.... he never had a chance.

Flag Reply +21 rate up
1 reply
Lettybits Meh... June 10 2014 at 1:24 PM

Wanna bet?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
gail7rltr Lettybits June 10 2014 at 4:19 PM

He's a fat pig out of control with his weight and his mouth and his attitude.

Flag +3 rate up
Hi Jake Lettybits June 10 2014 at 4:23 PM

A wanna be who will never be President

Flag +3 rate up
Marc June 10 2014 at 8:46 AM

Stupid people are the first to say that they are not stupid.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
2 replies
johngin1999 Marc June 10 2014 at 9:38 AM

Stupid people are the first to say Stupid people are the first to say that they are not stupid.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
dgoffnspector Marc June 11 2014 at 8:56 AM

Stupid people are the first to say, "Stupid people are the first to say Stupid people are the first to say that they are not stupid."
See how that works?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
joannecdsnj June 10 2014 at 4:14 PM

Christie has been a disgrace as a govenor. It's been 18 months and people still cant return to their homes after Sandy. Millions were paid to an outfit to hand out the money and they got a big chunck of it before being fired. He refuses to obey the law and make payments to the state pension fund, a law that he signed himself. He has taken $12 million from the states energy fund and moved it to the general fund. This money was a surcharge on every one's electric bill and was suppose to be used to give rebates and low cost loans to people who wanted to buy new appliences and windows and insullation. He told the people that they were rejected when they applied for the money so that he could use it to balance the budget.

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chitt9111 June 10 2014 at 11:48 AM

Christie / 2016~USA !~"Christie / 2016~USA !~"Christie / 2016~USA !

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3 replies
dexrmerritt June 10 2014 at 6:21 AM

Here goes MSNBC again another week of CC, he said close the fridge not the bridge anyway....

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1 reply
johngin1999 dexrmerritt June 10 2014 at 9:43 AM

MSNBC can't do anything but bash non-liberals of any kind. And yet these weiners WHINE about FOX when they do exactly the same to dumbocraps.
Just like immature juvenile who hit someone & then run to mommy crying when they get hit back. Liberals never evolved past toddler mentality. That's why they need "gubbamint" to be their surrogate "mommie".

Flag Reply +7 rate up
6 replies
vpqueen June 10 2014 at 3:25 PM

Change Memo to AOL:

Change: After the 'bridgegate' scandal, does Chris Christie have what it takes to be a presidential candidate?

To: After the 'Benghazigate scandal, does Hillary Clinton have what it takes to be a presidential candidate?

Always happy to help the lefties at AOL.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
3 replies
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