Christie's Team Ran His Reelection Campaign with an Eye on 2016

Image: Christie's Team Ran His Reelection Campaign with an Eye on 2016

Wednesday, 29 Jan 2014 08:51 AM

By Lisa Barron

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's top staffers prepared for his 2013 reelection campaign in a manner that suggested there was always an eye on the bigger prize, the White House, according to a number of former officials who spoke to The New York Times.

There were reportedly 100 swing towns, likened to mini-Ohios or mini-Floridas, and his team believed that winning them would bolster the idea that Christie would be the candidate with the broadest appeal in the 2016 presidential race.

The leading crew around Christie included Bill Stepien, his two-time campaign manager and deputy chief of staff, who went on to run the state Republican Party and work for Christie in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and Bridget Ann Kelly, who succeeded Stepien in the governor's office.

Stepien was apparently behind the idea that these 100 towns would get special attention, including state aid, help from the Port Authority, and town-hall-style sessions with Christie himself.

"With any governor, but especially with Chris Christie, it's impossible to separate politics from policy, but clearly Stepien was politics first, policy second," David Pringle, campaign director for New Jersey Environmental Federation, told the Times.

"There wasn't anything of significance that Stepien did without the governor being aware of it," added Pringle, who served on Christie's transition team after the federation endorsed him in 2009.

Such observations about the inner workings of the Christie team has many people questioning the governor's claim that he had no knowledge of last September's lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, which allegedly were ordered as retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. for his refusal to endorse Christie reelection bid.

Former Christie officials told the Times that as Christie began gaining national attention, as he did after Hurricane Sandy, it was harder to separate his local efforts from his overall strategy.

"It's a campaign mentality," one unnamed official told the Times. "There was a sense that, 'We have to totally manage the message because there might be a bigger stage for him.'"

Ironically, a bigger stage is looking increasingly less likely for Christie because of the so-called bridge-gate scandal, which resulted in the firing of Stepien and Kelly.

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows public support for the governor slipping. More people now say he is lying about the scandal than believe he is being honest about it.

The survey also found that Christie's overall image has suffered a major blow; just 22 percent of Americans view him favorably, down from 33 percent in October, and 29 percent view him unfavorably, compared to 17 percent a few months ago.

Related stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Leaked Campaign Memo Exposes Michelle Nunn's Weaknesses

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 23:04 PM

Democrat Michelle Nunn's run for the Georgia Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss suffered a . . .

WaPo's Cillizza: Obama's Incompetence Will Hurt Midterm Dems

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 21:39 PM

President Barack Obama is facing a problem with public confidence in his abilities, but Democrats seeking midterm re-ele . . .

Leahy to Propose Strong Curbs on NSA Phone Data Collection

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 19:21 PM

A new Senate proposal to curb the government's bulk collection of Americans' telephone records and increase transparency . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved