Chris Christie: Political calculator? Or just doing his job?
New Jersey governor, and possible GOP presidential contender Chris Christie has landed in the spotlight time and again for his take-charge attitude, and his willingness to say what's on his mind. The governor says he's not trying to be political.
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And last week he smacked down Boehner for delaying a vote on the $60.4 billion storm aid package. Christie said he tried to call Boehner four times Tuesday, but none of the calls was returned. Christie's office received 800 emails in the hours following the governor's Boehner news conference, mostly positive.Skip to next paragraph
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Christie said he was just doing his job.
"It never struck me that what I should do is calibrate my language in order to be more political. My view was the (president) was helping us and I wanted to tell people. He deserved that credit," he said. "With Boehner, I would have reacted differently if the speaker had picked up my phone calls Tuesday night and explained what he was doing. The fact that 66 days had already gone by with no assistance, all that stuff conspired to create the reaction that I gave."
Christie has received almost universal praise for his handling of the superstorm. A late November Quinnipiac University poll showed 95 percent of those surveyed thought he did an "excellent" or "good" job managing the storm. The poll also found he'd won over a majority of women and minority voters, two constituencies that had not supported him previously.
"He's a Jersey guy," Wilson said. "It's the quality that will carry him through the rest of his political career."
The governor's popularity surge couldn't have come at a more opportune time. It probably helped convince Newark Mayor Cory Booker not to enter next year's governor's race. So far only one major Democratic candidate, state Sen. Barbara Buono, has stepped up to take on Christie in November.
Even Senate President Stephen Sweeney, the state's most powerful elected Democrat, finds himself agreeing with the governor more often than not.
After Christie tongue-lashed Boehner over Sandy aid, all Sweeney could do was nod.
"I want to thank the governor for listening when I asked him to step up and call on his party's congressional members to get their act together," Sweeney said. "I am glad that the governor has joined me in heaping scorn on those Republican members of Congress who have left New Jersey in dire straits."