Tags: | GOP2016 | Chris Christie | re-calibrating | campaign

Advisers Say Chris Christie 'Re-calibrating' for 2016

Image: Advisers Say Chris Christie 'Re-calibrating' for 2016
(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 09:18 AM

Some GOP state presidential primary activists tell CNN that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been conspicuously absent from 2016 presidential primary activities, but his advisers insist they are "re-calibrating" for a May/June campaign launch "designed to capitalize on Christie's considerable strengths as a retail campaigner and position him as a truth-telling underdog in the style of John McCain."

"Every other candidate is showing up here, and people are coming to me like, 'what's going on?' " South Carolina state Rep. Phyllis Henderson told CNN. "And I really don't know what they are doing here.

"I haven't had any indication that they are planning to visit or what the plan is. I haven't really talked to them in a while."

Henderson had been planning to serve as a key Christie point person in the Palmetto State, which holds an early primary, but her "interest" has "drifted" to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Christie has seen his ratings plummet since bridgegate — the 2013 George Washington Bridge closing scandal in which Christie aides and political appointees orchestrated lane closures on the busy bridge connecting New York and New Jersey. There has been speculation that the closings were an act of political retribution to the Fort Lee, New Jersey, mayor who did not support Christie in his re-election bid.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that indictments are forthcoming.

Christie fired the two aides linked to the scandal and has adamantly denied any knowledge of the incident. An internal report found no evidence that Christie was involved in the plan.

The governor has a lot of work to do if he's planning to run as his current poll numbers are dismal.

Last month, Politico reported that the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey found that 51 percent of Garden State voters disapproved of the governor's job performance, compared with 35 percent who approved, marking the lowest approval and highest disapproval ratings recorded by the survey center.

And a Washington Post/ABC News poll last week found that 41 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents view him unfavorably, compared with a 51 percent unfavorable impression by voters overall.

Even worse, according to CNN, were the results of a March Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finding that 57 percent of Republicans said they "could not see themselves supporting Christie for the GOP nomination. The only Republican name to fare worse on that question was Donald Trump."

Christie began losing favor with a contingency of Republicans after hugging President Barack Obama when the commander-in-chief visited the Garden State following Hurricane Sandy, just days before the 2012 presidential election.

His passage of gun restrictions and a New Jersey version of the DREAM Act further pummeled his popularity, as did New Jersey's "steep tax rates and multiple credit downgrades," according to CNN.

Christie supporters say the governor is hard at work in Trenton, focusing on his state's pressing issues while ramping up for the campaign launch. He was a popular elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2014 and raised record amounts of money for the organization.

He has been criticized for his "brash persona," something for which he makes no apologies.

On Tuesday, in one of his famous town hall-style meetings, Christie told the crowd that if his personality is not voters' "cup of tea" he would "rather go home" than run for president, according to NJ.com.

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Some GOP state presidential primary activists tell CNN that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been conspicuously absent from 2016 presidential primary activities, but his advisers insist they are "re-calibrating" for a May/June campaign launch.
Chris Christie, re-calibrating, campaign
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2015-18-09
Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 09:18 AM
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