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Category: Election 2016

Christie Rival Embraces Astorino

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

I suppose you need to take your shots when you can, Save Jerseyans, and it’s all too easy to do it in the social media age.

Hours after RGA Chairman Chris Christie dismissed NY GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino as a “lost cause” and Astorino countered by calling for Christie’s resignation, Texas Governor Rick Perry (considered to be a possible Christie presidential primary rival) gave the dissed New York Republican a Texas-sized hug in Colorado:

Oh no he didn’t!

Republican governors are in Aspen, Colorado for Thursday night’s McCloskey Speaker Series at the Aspen Institute featuring Governor Rick Scott of Florida, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas, Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and, yes, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey who spent Wednesday in Colorado campaigning for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez.


Clinton Team Shadows Christie In IA, NJ

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Chris Christie suffered Clintonistas overload on Thursday, Save Jerseyans.

They’re still treating him like the front runner for the 2016 GOP nomination even after the Bridgegate scandal and ideological indiscretions even if a large segment of the Republican base is less convinced. Go figure.

For starters, Hilldawg herself visited New Jersey for an evening Hard Choices book signing in Ridgewood. She’s hard up for a good headline with past scandals getting new oxygen for the past few weeks, so it must have been nice to experience her tried-and-true North Jersey Democrat sycophants fawning all over her.

Chris Christie stumped in Iowa simultaneously to the Clinton event, but even there he couldn’t escape her minions.


Christie: Federal Tax Code is “Wet Blanket”

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Chris Christie dropped by Wall Street on Wednesday afternoon to address America’s top financial figures at an annual hedge-fund ‘Delivering Alpha’ conference.

His primary message was as obvious and straightforward as it is important:

Kean Backs Bell; Christie to Iowa

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Tom KeanAverage Americans are shutting down for the long-holiday weekend but the political class is just warming up, Save Jerseyans. Officious  statements, soaring speeches, patriotic parades and memorial services are a part of the job description on the 4th of July. This is also a midterm year, in case you’ve forgotten, and we actually saw an endorsement come across the wires on a hazy, humid Independence Day Eve, a time when most campaigns are trying to bury news.

“I voted for Jeff in the Republican primary and have known and respected him for more than three decades, including his remarkable Senate race in 1978 and when he helped me develop my economic program in the 1981 campaign for Governor,” Governor Tom Kean, Sr. recalled in a Thursday afternoon statement released by Jeff Bell’s U.S. Senate campaign, recalling Bell’s legendary grassroots victory over liberal Republican Senator Clifford P. Case.


Van Drew Aids Booker, Looks to 2016

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

State Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1)

State Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1)

State Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1) took a pass on a CD2 run against Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ2) this year, Save Jerseyans, leaving his party’s chances for a New Jersey Democrat House pick-up in the less-than-capable hands of Bill Hughes, Jr., scion of a political family led by his father, former Congressman Bill Hughes.

I say less-than-capable because Hughes has $342,199 on hand, hardly an inspiring amount of cash for a Democrat challenger in a PVI D+1 district where the multi-term incumbent boasts a better than one million dollar advantage. Hughes will likely post a less-than-inspiring finish in November barring a major Lobiondo slip-up or a dramatic reversal of the national climate trajectory (we just found out that President Obama is solidly upside down statewide at the moment, so he’s likely even less popular in the redder reaches of South Jersey).


Counting the Christie Octopus’s Tentacles

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

chris christie octopus

No one can rule Chris Christie out for 2016, Save Jerseyans. Not yet. He’s a talented politician, he can raise big money and, least discussed of all favorable factors but arguably among the most critical, the embattled Governor can claim a considerable nationwide of network of battle-tested operatives (not including his RGA staff) who are fiercely loyal to his political organization masterminded and spearheaded by super consultant Mike DuHaime and, until recently, former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien.

The effect of Stepien’s absence can’t be understated; it’s the broken bulb on your Christmas tree that blacks-out out several other strands in addition to its own. The loss of “Step” (as he’s known back in New Jersey by those holding a favorable or neutral opinion of him personally, or at least professionally) has been a real drag on the Governor’s in-state political operations.

Still, as you’ll see below, Team Christie had successfully deployed its key talent in all four corner of the country since the reelect cycle wrapped up in November 2013 but before Bridgegate took the wind out of its sails; targeted locales notably included states with early primaries including New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa and Florida.


Christie Improves But Struggles Against Hilldawg in Iowa

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Iowa FlagStatistical noise? Or a trend?

What difference does it make? We’ve got a long way to go, Save Jerseyans…

Click here to view the results of the latest Quinnipiac 2016 Iowa poll showing Governor Chris Christie trailing Hillary “Hilldawg” Clinton by 8-points, 44% to 36%, a noticeable improvement from Hilldawg’s 13-points, 48% to 35% lead back in March when (1) Bridgegate was at its height but before (2) a lackluster book tour and more negative foreign policy news took more shine off of the Obama Administration alumni pool’s resume.

In case you were wondering why Governor Christie attended the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s confab last week, the polling results suggest his issues may partially cultural/regional; Paul (KY), Ryan (WI) and Huckabee (AR) all perform slightly stronger against the leading Democrat. Only Jeb Bush performs worse.


Christie to Social Cons: War On Drugs Failed

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Chris Christie made a little bit of news at Friday’s ‘Faith and Freedom Coalition’ gathering in Washington, D.C., Save Jerseyans, and I’m told he was very well received.

It’s not so much what he said that’s news but, I suppose, to whom he said it:

More details to follow…


Hilldawg Is So 1990s

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Hillary and ObamaHillary Clinton’s presidential polling position is actually pretty underwhelming at the moment for a heavily-favored frontrunner, Save Jerseyans, but since we don’t have a “none of the above” option in American politics, Hilldawg’s fate is contingent upon the relative strength of her GOP opponents. Or lack thereof as appears to be the case.

It’s not for lack of opportunity for an effective offensive. Her Hard Choices book tour isn’t generating the positive attention that she’d hoped to garner. From the optical periphery, the Obama Administration’s continued bungling is making it harder for her to great distance between herself and Benghazi, a scandal which her book was supposed to help diffuse.


Christie’s Bid to Revive ‘Compassionate Conservatism’

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Santorum with BushAt a time when a large segment of the GOP base is gravitating towards an increasingly libertarian worldview, Save Jerseyans, Governor Chris Christie isn’t trying to compete for the same Republican primary market. He’s making a hard play to carry the standard for Bush-era “compassionate conservatives,” a term popularly used to describe the 43rd President’s social conservatism and support for tax cuts moderated by hawkish foreign policy stances and an allowance for big government intervention in a social context.

Yes, it makes many of my fellow conservatives cringe (often with good reason), and I’ve never thought the term needed a modifier, but it’s an approach that’s worked at the ballot box before and might just strike a chord as the Iraq crisis engenders Dubya nostalgia in some sectors sooo, consequently, the New Jersey Governor continues to spend lots of time doubling-down on things like after-school dinner programs, the DREAM Actcriminal justice reform and, recently, a different approach to the Garden State’s heroin epidemic. The first big test: can Christie out-Bush a Bush?

On Tuesday, the Guv announced a statewide expansion of the Narcan Pilot program, granting a waiver which will allow 28,000 certified EMTs to administer the medication designed to treat drug overdose patients:


Walker’s Sortie in New Jersey

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie and WalkerSo says National Review, relaying details of an event last Tuesday in Lakewood, New Jersey, where Walker addressed approximately 30 donors:

“The governor took a swipe at his friend Chris Christie on Christie’s home turf, touting his own success reducing property taxes in Wisconsin after a decade of steady increases. New Jersey’s astronomical property taxes are notorious, and Christie, who has a full-blown budget crisis on his hands right now, has done little to address the problem.”

Told you it wouldn’t last long.


Pro-Clinton Super PAC Aims at Christie

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Chris Christie’s GOP presidential primary prospects have seen better days, Save Jerseyans, but American Bridge 21st Century, a Super PAC named after Bill Clinton’s famous “Bridge to the 21st Century” talking point, spearheaded by a Harry Reid staffer and funded by rich Clintonistas, is still treating him as a top contender. Or at least the one that they’re most determined to prevent from reemerging as a top contender. It’s all a matter of perspective I suppose.

They’re saying he’s “funnier than Fallon” in this obnoxiously self-aware snarky web vid…


Christie Refines 2016 Stump in TN

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Chris Christie wasn’t in Tennessee at the end of last week solely to raise money for an RGA candidate and crash bachelorette parties, Save Jerseyans; he’s still refining his 2016 stump speech…

Poll: Christie/Bush/Paul Running Behind

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Pollster John Zogby hasn’t fully recovered his reputation since the 2004 exit polling predicting a Kerry landslide that never mercifully never materialized, Save Jerseyans, but his most recent 2016-related survey is attracting attention from political junkies.

Why? Because ominous news for Republicans is always interesting to opinion drivers, and the results of his Zogby Analytics poll reveal a double-edged sword for 2016′s most-discussed GOP contenders: a front runner Democrat (Hillary Clinton) under 50% despite nearly universal name recognition BUT support for Republican alternatives mired in the 30-something range…

Will we wake up on a cold day in January 2017 and wonder for what does it profit a man to gain the U.S. Senate and forfeit the White House to a Clinton?

Zogby says it’s a demographic problem: 


@GovChristie: Why I’m Still Viable

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Chris Christie’s reform agenda in New Jersey is officially off-the-rails, Save Jerseyans. There’s no utility in sugar-coating it.

On the same day that he effectively surrendered pursuing a remade New Jersey Supreme Court, the embattled 2016 prospect participated in a Republican Governors Association (RGA) presser at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria hotel and fielded inquires as to whether he’d surrender his chairmanship due to mounting ugly fiscal news at home.

Governor Christie’s fundraising hasn’t suffered for it, that’s undeniable, we all know he’s not the genesis of these issues regardless of how we feel he’s performed tackling them as of late, and his colleague Nikki Haley of South Carolina offered an unequivocal defense, yet the transparently tired and irritated national Democrat public enemy #1 offered up his an answer to the media horde that likely wasn’t intended to justify only his continued RGA leadership but also a seat at the president contender table.

Side note: the Governor’s added commentary regarding the legislature’s current composition will raise more than a few eyebrows out there in Save Jersey land…


Christie Takes On Fortress America

By Joshua Sotomayor-Einstein | The Save Jersey Blog

Photo credit: Fox News

Photo credit: Fox News

On Sunday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the “Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala” in New York hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. You may remember Rabbi Shmuley from radio, TV, his many provocative books, or our Save Jersey interview with him during his 2012 congressional run. The gala was attended by 700 people, of which five tickets were kindly given by Rabbi Shmuley to the Hudson County Republican Club who invited me to attend.

The event was watched by the Republican political world because of the presence of Governors Christie and Perry, and co-host (former Gingrich backer and casino billionaire) Sheldon Adelson.

Governor Christie’s speech, in which he criticized the current American leadership for failed policies at home and abroad, tied domestic policies which have led to uncertainty with similarly resulting foreign policy. That Christie’s address at a primarily Jewish forum more accustomed to hearing about Israel, Islamic extremism, and making the world a better place, included domestic issues was as unusual as it was important.


The Health Question in Context

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

hillary-clinton-and-chris-christieI remember joking (but not really) back in 2011 that the media was far more interested in examining Chris Christie’s weight than Bill Clinton’s perversions or any other prominent Democrat politicians’ personal issues.

Obsession is more like it.

Now, three years later, Governor Christie is rapidly shrinking but some GOP’ers are being raked over the coals for questioning a different Clinton’s physical fitness for the nation’s top job. We’re even seeing Republicans criticizing other Republicans for bringing it up. “I don’t think it was a particularly shrewd move,” veteran journalist Bill Kristol told ABC’s This Week. “I mean, we’ll see how Secretary Clinton’s health is. She’ll be out there campaigning, presumably. I imagine her health will be fine. But, in any case, people can see for themselves, so there’s no reason for Karl Rove to speculate about it.”.

Will we ever learn our lesson? Probably right after we finally develop a truly objective media that reports the news instead of trying to craft it.

I’ll give the GOP a superior point to make heading into 2016: both candidates are in better health than Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.