Former Senate candidate Steve Lonegan has slammed Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli's suggestion that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie quit as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
"He absolutely should not [step down]," Lonegan told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Republicans need to take a lesson from Ronald Reagan's book. When [Secretary of Labor] Ray Donovan was being hung out there to dry in the press, even before an election, he stood up behind [him and] never backed off …
"[Donovan] had that famous quote when he was vindicated, 'Where do I go to get my reputation back?' I'd say that three months from now, Chris Christie's going to be working on getting his reputation back because this is a political pile-on."
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Lonegan, a Republican who lost to Newark Mayor Corey Booker in the race for the late Frank Lautenberg's Senate seat, said he doesn't believe all of accusations being piled on Christie, a rising GOP star, now mired in the bridge-gate scandal.
In particular, Lonegan is incensed by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer's allegation that Christie threatened to withhold Superstorm Sandy relief funds from her city unless she approved one of his pet development projects.
"It takes her eight months to have an epiphany … She didn't mention a peep to anybody and this is not a wilting flower. Mayor Zimmer is an outspoken, dynamic individual, she's aggressive," he said.
"What, she kept this all inside and suddenly eight months later she had this story to tell? I don't believe a single word of it …
"This is just such a nonsense story … Furthermore, if you look at the money that poured into Hoboken from Hurricane Sandy. They've … been approved for $100 million."
Lonegan is also not impressed by charges that Christie used federal money to produce post-Sandy ads for his own political gain.
"Here's the most important thing about the Hurricane Sandy commercials. They worked. They worked to drive people back to the Jersey Shore, they worked to get people back on track," he said. "He was the face of the state and the face of recovery. Governors have done this for decades all around the country.
"He had every right to be in those commercials. This is a pure political pile-on designed to take down the image of a governor who was leading Hillary Clinton just a month ago, coincidentally."
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