Has Romney Sidelined Christie Over the Tax Return Issue?

The Republican Primary battle has been heating up in the first in the south state of South Carolina over the last week with multiple debates and nasty ads flying back and forth between the candidates.

One notable observation has been the odd absence of one of Mitt Romney’s most famous supporters, Governor Chris Christie.

In the last two primary states, Governor Christie has been in the forefront of the Romney campaign strategy. He brought his Jersey attitude with him to Iowa, a state where the Romney campaign was barely playing until a mere two weeks before the primary, and helped the presumptive nominee score a tied-for-first win that was seemingly out of no where. Then in New Hampshire Christie against made appearances with Romney as his support in the Granite State continued to grow leading up to primary day.

So now, as we close in on poll openings in South Carolina, the state where the pundits so often claim that Republican nominees are chosen, why is the Governor suddenly absent from the stage? It cannot be for a lack of Christie’s popularity in South Carolina, the red southern state would likely be a prime location for Christie’s aggressive attitude at otherwise tame Romney events. It also is unlikely to be the Governor’s schedule in New Jersey. Over the last few days Christie has been doing town hall meetings in New Jersey while heading to New York in the mornings and evenings to do shows like Hannity, Morning Joe, the Today Show, and Fox & Friends, just to name a few. So what could it be then?

Two words: Income taxes.

The topic has been plaguing the Romney campaign for over a week. Opponents from both parties have been demanding that Mitt release his personal income tax records, something his father became known for back in the 1960s when he ran for President. In two debates this week Romney gave terribly dodgy answers to personal tax related questions, so bad that if I were the former Governor, I would have fired the handler responsible for crafting that answer immediately this morning.

Governor Christie has publicly stated, when on television presumably to be a surrogate, that Romney should get his records out there in the open for everyone to see, if for no other reason so that the campaign can finally move past the issue. With every new interview, Christie seems to reiterate the point, while other Romney spokesmen seem to just tow the campaign line that the records will be released in April after the nomination is locked up.

One has to wonder whether this obvious disagreement in strategy may have been enough for the Romney camp to sideline Christie for the time being while the attention surrounding Romney’s wealth and tax rate settles. Unfortunately, this decision may have been made to their detriment. Romney has let an 18 point lead over Newt Gingrich drop to a statistical tie. Christie may have been the catalyst needed to get the momentum going again, but in all likelihood now it would be too late. Hopefully they have the sense to bring Governor Christie back on stage for Florida, which could very well be the deciding state in the schedule.

114 thoughts on “Has Romney Sidelined Christie Over the Tax Return Issue?

  1. C'mon, man. New Hampshire for Mitt Romney was the equivalent of hitting a softball off a tee. That was a gimmie for him and the news would've been if he LOST there.

    As was anticipated by myself, Mittens flounders outside of the Northeast region. He probably hasn't been using Gov. Christie because he wanted to tout regional support that resonates with voters in SC and points south. A misguided strategy in my book since Christie is a pretty well known and popular figure on a national scale, but I get it.

    Mitt Romney is showing yet again how weak of a candidate he is. He derails HIMSELF more than anybody else ever could. He has very well documented credibility issues and he seems completely incapable of giving a straight answer to anything. His flub on the income tax return question was a complete disaster.

    I'm sorry, but Barack Obama would have a field day with a buffoon lime Mitt Romney.

  2. The more people the NJGOP sends to the Romeny campaign the more downhill the Romney campaign seems to go…just sayin'

  3. Christie's been more successful in two years than Romney's entire time in Massachusetts. He'd be a fool to shelve him now.

  4. Thank you, Alice! Been saying that all along! Mitt accomplished little to nothing as Governor of Massachusetts, was a very unpopular Governor and didn't run for re-election because he would've lost. Some would argue that it's because MA is a traditional blue state, but being a good leader transcends party lines.

    Matt: My candidate is Newt. Not thrilled with him, but he's the only one I can stomach.

  5. I've always liked Newt. Brilliant man and skilled politician. I do, however, continue to worry about his (1) lack of focus, and (2) a tendency to get lost in policy minutia/giant ideas that aren't very conservative.

    There's also a LOT of American voters who remember his late speaker tenure unfavorably. Fair or not, can he win them over?

  6. I would LOVE to see the slimy Newt get the nomination…not very many independents would vote for him since he's so polarizing. Not too mention he's has that wonderful repulsive factor. Go Newt!

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