I am a member of the Republican County Committee of Monmouth County, New Jersey, and I can vouch that Governor Chris Christie is clearly not a moderate-to-liberal Republican, as his Republican predecessors Governors Cahill, Kean, and Whitman were. He has vetoed several top bracket income tax increases, and kept Republicans in the legislature, where they are outnumbered 24-16 in the Senate and 48-32 in the Assembly, unanimous in upholding his vetoes (it only takes 3 Republican defectors in the Senate and 6 in the Assembly to override his vetoes). He has abolished pension cost of living increases for NJ public sector retirees, and has compelled public sector workers to contribute more for their health benefits and pensions. He has substantially cut state spending below the levels approved under Corzine, and has proposed income tax cuts which the Democratic legislature has refused to approve. He has vetoed gay marriage (NJ already has civil unions), although he would allow the people of New Jersey to decide that issue in a referendum. He has so far prevented any increases in the NJ minimum wage, although the legislature is attempting to go around him and get an increase approved in a referendum this fall. He has governed about as conservatively as is possible in a blue state with a 60-40 Democratic legislature, and by any reasonable measurement he is the most conservative NJ Governor of the last 60 years. He would be an outstanding 2016 or 2020 or even 2024 Presidential nominee (he would only be 62 at the time of the 2024 Presidential election.
Solid conservative. The people who claim he's some Northeastern RINO amuse me. They don't get (or understand) NJ politics or they have some sort of regional bias. Or they are Purity Concern Trolls like Levin, Limbaugh, Erick$on, & the like.
First, an aside: I think a mighty revolution may be coming on the right; not moderates vs. arch conservatives, but the common folk vs. the rentier class. Objectives obviously very different from the communist revolutions of the last century, but the combatants somewhat similar.Where does Christie fit with that? Hard to say. Libertarians are already more or less leading that movement; as we discussed, Christie doesn't fit well with them. He and his wife have Wall St and lobbying ties that don't work either.Caveats aside, though, I could also see Christie as a champion of a new Republican Party that is for little people again. I don't know why, exactly, it just seems plausible. Be interesting to see what happens on that front.
Chris Christie, champion of the little people? As the campaign professionals might say, the optics are bad.
I'm not a big Chris Christie fan, but the perfect is the enemy of the good. He'd make a good President.
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At The Washington Post
At The American Prospect