Christie Might Still Be Looking Beyond NJ

Thursday, 22 Sep 2011 05:18 AM

By Bradford Schmidt

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Despite Chris Christie adamantly denying he’s seeking national office, a new television ad campaign, as well as comments from the New Jersey governor, may indicate some interest in moving beyond state politics, the Newark Star Ledger is reporting. 
The ad, part of a $1.5 million campaign paid for by a nonprofit group called the Committee for Our Children’s Future, will air in New York and Philadelphia, and pointedly attacks Washington lawmakers while underscoring Christie’s leadership in New Jersey.
"Runaway spending, record debt, gridlock government," the ad says. "Washington is backwards. But Chris Christie, with bipartisan support, is taking New Jersey in another direction."
Criticism of federal politicians didn’t only come courtesy of a commercial voice-over.
Christie also made some barbed comments about federal officials during a recent speech, saying they were “ignoring the problems of Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security, and even though they can be fixed they’re, ‘too hard.’”
Observers of state and national politics suggest these might be indications that Christie is hoping to court a larger audience.
Brigid Harrison, a Montclair State University political science professor, said it is clear “that he is inserting himself in the national agenda.”
Brad Lawrence, a Democratic consultant, concurs. “I think this is clearly a spot with national ambitions and overtones,” Lawrence said about the television ad.
Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University suggested that perhaps after reviewing current Republican presidential hopefuls, Christie feels that “maybe it’s time for him to reconsider his earlier decision,” though he added that it’s possible the governor is simply reminding voters of his past record.
“It may be nothing,” Baker said.

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