Chris Christie may be Republicans’ — and America’s — best hope of fixing the nation’s problems if the newly re-elected New Jersey governor seeks the White House in 2016, says MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.
In a piece Scarborough penned for TIME Magazine
, the former Republican congressman from Florida lauds Christie’s brash bipartisan style, crediting him with unapologetically rebuffing the GOP’s vocal Tea Party members and the staunchly conservative factions of his party to instead govern down the middle.
Like his hero Bruce Springsteen, Christie "defiantly struck a ‘No retreat, baby, no surrender’ pose against withering right-wing rage," Scarborough writes.
Scarborough has long been a fan of the Garden State’s super-sized top boss and his trademark style of direct communication, something he says other politicians eschew.
"Unlike Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Christie paints in primary colors," Scarborough wrote in a 2011 Politico op-ed
spelling out the benefits of a Christie run for president in 2012.
"It is hard to imagine any voter ever complaining about the indifference of President Christie toward a particular issue. Unlike Obama and Romney, Christie rarely seeks the safety of a mushy middle ground.
In his Time piece, Scarborough likens GOP party in-fighting over Christie to a war between purists and pragmatists. He postulates that Christie has more in common with President Ronald Reagan than he does with Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas tea party Republican who led the charge to shut down the government last month.
Though Christie and Reagan’s political attributes may seem to contrast, their ability to connect with average Americans makes them more alike than different and is the GOP’s best hope of regaining the broad power and respect the party once enjoyed, says Scarborough.
"To win again – to make America great and growing again – requires a return to the spirit and substance of Eisenhower and Reagan. We Republicans will not win national elections if we do not broaden our appeal in the way these giants did. Nor will we govern well if we refuse to make principled compromises when necessary, the kind of compromises that led Ike and Reagan to historical greatness."
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