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Top Strategist: Chris Christie Is Key to GOP's Future

Friday, 23 Aug 2013 05:39 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is an integral part of the Republican Party’s future and the GOP must stop the harmful infighting that’s pitted superstars like Christie and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky against each other, leading Republican strategist and fundraiser Noelle Nikpour says.

"Our party, the Republican Party, needs to show unity and this is not the way to go about it," Nikpour told Charles Payne, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"Chris Christie, he's his own man, he's under the GOP label, so he's going to rub the base and some Libertarians, some different people, the wrong way."

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Christie, who infuriated many Republicans when he embraced President Barack Obama during a tour of the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, is essential to rebuilding of the GOP, she said.

"I like Chris Christie to at least be part of a mix and a new branding of the Republican Party because the idea is we need to attract more moderates and independents," she said.

"Every time I say that, it ticks off the Republican base. But we need him because the vast majority of people are kind of independent. They want to vote for the man and they don't identify with all 100 percent of the platforms of both parties. So you have to look at someone like a Chris Christie."

"We need to incorporate all kinds and we need to look like we're more tolerant and Chris Christie helps bridge this gap … Chris Christie can raise a lot of money."

She urged Republicans still smarting over the Superstorm Sandy photo op that showed Obama and Christie embracing to get over it — now.

"A photo op did not change what I felt about Chris Christie and how he has governed his state and what kind of leader he is," Nikpour said.

"I mean look, if your house burns down and State Farm [Insurance] comes by and helps you out, just because they're owned by someone you don't like doesn't mean you're going to turn your nose.

"[Christie] had a state in a crisis. I don't think it was some kind of premeditated 'I endorse Obama.'"

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