A Tennessee state lawmaker says it was “an absolutely terrible idea” to tap New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the party’s annual Statesmen Dinner, and vows to boycott the May 30 event rather than “imply my support” for the embattled executive.
”Why would we want to cloud Tennessee's conservative Republican Party with this questionable political figure?” asked state Rep. Andy Holt in a Facebook post, according to The Tennessean newspaper
Christie was announced Thursday
as keynote speaker for the state party’s big fund-raising event.
"This year Tennessee will prove, once more, it is a blueprint for Republican success for the rest of the nation," Chris Devaney said in a statement, adding: "We are thrilled to have Governor Christie here to highlight that message because he knows what it takes to win and lead."
Not so much for Holt, whose social media posting taunted: “Really, Tennessee GOP? Gov. Chris Christie? What an absolutely terrible idea!”
Holt said he wouldn’t attend because “I simply cannot imply my support… and I have spoken with a number of other legislators who share my disapproval.”
“I am pretty disappointed because I typically look forward to the Statesman dinner and really enjoy the opportunity to mingle with Republicans from across Tennessee,” he added. “In the past we've had pretty good keynote speakers; the glaring exception to that is obviously this year's selection.
“What about having a truly conservative Republican team-player come and speak to us and excite the 'real’ base of the Republican Party in Tennessee? I'm willing to make suggestions if necessary...”
Former Tennessee Democratic Party spokesman Brandon Puttbrese mocked the choice of Bridge-gate scandal battered Christie as well, tweeting: "Tennessee's roads will be open!"
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