Christie's RGA Snubs Rob Astorino's NY Gov. Race as Lost Cause

Image: Christie's RGA Snubs Rob Astorino's NY Gov. Race as Lost Cause (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 03:06 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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As chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he will not campaign on behalf of Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino because the RGA does not "invest" in races that are seen as "lost causes."

According to New Jersey's Star-Ledger, while on a campaign stop in Connecticut on Monday, Christie told reporters he "will spend time in places where we have a chance to win."

"I said that right from the beginning. We don’t pay for landslides, and we don’t invest in lost causes," but he added, "If the New York race becomes competitive, I’ll consider campaigning in the New York race, but right now, by the public polls, there’s a lot more competitive races like this one in Connecticut."

In fact, shortly after his election to the chairmanship, Christie made clear his priorities heading toward November's elections.

"As RGA chairman, we’re going to elect Republican governors in every state. And once that’s cleared up in New York as to who the Republican candidate might be, then we’ll make an assessment with the RGA about the worthiness of investing in that race," Christie said in December, according to the website LOHUD.

Astorino,
who serves as Westchester County Executive, is challenging incumbent Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Christie's characterization of Astorino's campaign, however, is not far off, according to the latest polling.

A Siena poll on Monday found Astorino trailing Cuomo by 37 points, according to the local CBS station.

And Cuomo holds an average 33-point margin over Astorino, according to polling data compiled by RealClearPolitics.

Astorino did not take kindly to Christie's comments and said he should resign his chairmanship if he cannot support all campaigns. At a news conference in Manhattan, Astorino said, "If Gov. Christie is unable to help a Republican candidate for governor, then maybe he should consider stepping down as chairman of the RGA. That's his job,"  according to the New York Daily News.

According to Politico, the RGA, which has $70 million cash on hand, is aiming to spend $100 million before the November elections. The RGA to date has invested $25 million in several states, including Iowa, South Carolina, and New Mexico.

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