Tags: Trump Administration | | GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | Joseph M. Kyrillos | chris christie | jeb bush

Longtime Chris Christie Ally Switches Support to Jeb Bush

Image: Longtime Chris Christie Ally Switches Support to Jeb Bush
State Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos Jr., R-N.J. (Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015 06:26 AM

A top confidant and political operative of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has jumped from the governor's ship and is now supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for president next year.

According to a Washington Post report, New Jersey state Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos — the chairman of Christie's 2009 campaign for governor, who has helped Christie during his time leading the state — is now on Bush's side.

Christie and Kyrillos have been close friends for about 20 years, which Christie alluded to three years ago.

Christie is mulling a presidential run next year, while his fellow Republican Bush is expected to announce his candidacy soon. A Bush spokesman confirmed Kyrillos' switch to supporting Bush, and said the 55-year-old donated $10,000 to Bush's political action committee last month.

Bush and Christie traded jabs at each other last week, starting with Christie's critique of Bush's yet-to-be-announced campaign.

Christie said Bush's campaign resembles a "train that has slowed down pretty significantly from what I've seen out and around the country.

"The one speech that he's given so far, I thought was rather general."

When later asked about the comments in New Hampshire, Bush jokingly referred to Christie as "who?"

Bush, according to the Post report, has been quietly courting New Jersey Republicans who are starting to move away from Christie. That includes Kyrillos, who said in February he was "obviously intrigued" by Bush.

Bush's team, according to the Post, thinks the Kyrillos defection could signal others to do the same.

Christie's stock hit a low point Monday morning, when the results of a Quinnipiac University poll showed the governor has the lowest approval rating of his career running the Garden State — 38 percent.

"The governor's job approval hits a new low and voters think his presidential ambitions are distracting him from his day job," Quinnipiac University Poll assistant director Maurice Carroll said. "Besides, they don't think he'd be a good president."

In December, Christie said his decision on whether or not to run will not be affected by Bush's expected entrance into the race.

Christie has trailed Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and other potential Republican candidates for president in most recent polls.

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A top confidant and political operative of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has jumped from the governor's ship and is now supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for president next year.
Joseph M. Kyrillos, chris christie, jeb bush, 2016, campaign
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2015-26-21
Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015 06:26 AM
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