Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may not be that popular among the rabid right that controls the Republican Party but that didn’t stop them from defending “one of our own” at the GOP Winter Meeting in Washington Friday.
Calling Christie’s latest round of power-mad scandals a “speed bump” in his potential road to the White House, party activists claimed it was “too early to write him off” as a Presidential contender and said his travails may even help him with conservatives because it turns him in a political martry.
“People in our party see the media going after Christie and nothing helps like becoming what we see as a victim of the liberal-dominated media,” one GOP conservative activist told Capitol Hill Blue during the meeting.
But Christie, seen as a moderate by those who want the party to move to the middle to increase chances of winning national elections, still has a long way to become a poster child for the right wing.
Evan worse, Christie is a Republican governor in a Democratic state and that, says Republican National Committee adviser Bill Palatucci, increases his challenges.
It’s a Democratic state — the legislature is controlled by the Democrats — so I think they will attempt to drag it out as long as they can. That being said, the governor is very determined to continue his job as governor and do the things he talked about in his inauguration speech.
Republicans appeared to agree that Christie has more than enough time to recover from charges that he exerted improper political power on Democratic mayors and other office holders.
“The bottom line is that Chris Christie is still, if not the biggest, one of the biggest draws in our party,” Massachusetts GOP committeeman Ron Kaufman told The Associated Press. “He’s still one of the most popular Republican governors.”
Said Mississippi committeeman Henry Barbour:
We’ve got lots of people who can run and I think Christie is one of them. The last month hasn’t been very good, but we’re a long ways off from when people are going to be making those sorts of decisions.
Christie was not at the meeting in Washington, which wrapped Friday.