Tags: Trump Administration | | Christie Bridge Controversy | Polls | pounds | image | investigation

Chris Christie Works to Project New, Softer Image

Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 07:04 PM

It's scramble time for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the pounds he dropped in his recent weight-loss effort aren't the only things he's shedding.

As polls show his popularity plunging in the wake of the Bridge-gate scandal and his dreams of a shot at the Republican nomination for president in 2016 seem to be waning, Christie is dropping his rough, aggressive edges and pitching an image transplant as a new, kinder, gentler, more inclusive Christie, the Washington Post reports.

Christie says he's aware of the middle road he is now taking.

"Believe me, I'm completely cognizant of the politics of it, but it's not the main motivation," he told the Post."It's the way I do my job and it's good politics, too.

"I'm not allergic to that," he said as he hugged and shook hands with young, mostly black players at a high school football game in Camden. Later he addressed a meeting of the NAACP in Parsippany.

Christie is working hard to shed his bullying image while his administration's 2013 closing of the George Washington Bridge is still under investigation by state and federal authorities over whether it was done as a matter of political revenge and whether Christie was personally involved.

Now, in speeches, Christie is emphasizing his social reform efforts and his work to liberalize drug policies and sentencing laws, which, combined with his opposition to abortion, amounts to a "pro-life for the whole life" approach, as he calls it.

"I don't think second chances are just the domain of Democrats or Republicans," Christie told the NAACP. "From my perspective, we have sinners and wrongdoers aplenty in both parties. For our party, if we don't make ourselves broader and more inclusive, then we have a problem."

The change comes as a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll finds that Christie's approval rating has gone negative for the first time since August 2011, dropping 7 points in the last two months. Only 42 percent of registered New Jersey voters approve of the way Christie has handled his job.

"This is the lowest favorability rating we have ever recorded for Christie," said David Redlawsk, Eagleton director and professor of political science at Rutgers. "By nearly every measure we have, Christie is losing support."

Christie has been barnstorming the country, stumping for Republican candidates and the Republican Governors Association he chairs, raising over $90 million in campaign funds, NJ.com reports.

His attention has swung from state to national electorates. He told the Huffington Post, "I'm never running for office in New Jersey again. The only job left for me to run for is United States Senate, and let me just say this: I would rather die than be in the United States Senate. I would be bored to death."

However, he did not discount the possibility of running for president, and Christie seems to think a change of image could do the trick.

"People forget, probably because of all the crazy stuff that's happened over the last year, that I got 61 percent of the vote less than a year ago. That didn't happen by accident," he told the Post.

He told CBS News, "You have to understand as a leader that there are times where you have to be tough and direct and times when you have to be softer and listen. I can do both."

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It's scramble time for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the pounds he dropped in his recent weight-loss effort aren't the only things he's shedding.
pounds, image, investigation, president
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2014-04-15
Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 07:04 PM
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