Disaster? No, but Chris Christie needs to come home. Now.

Chris Christie leaves a meeting with the Prime Minister.

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

This is one instance where I’m not at all happy about being right.

The media is already calling Governor Chris Christie’s trip to the U.K. a “disaster,” Save Jerseyans (Mark Bonamo says the wheels are off the cart), primarily after a vaccination flap distracted everyone from the task at hand.

Okay. I’m not sure anything is a “disaster” this far out from a primary election; one year is a lifetime in politics. 

Chris Christie leaves a meeting with the Prime Minister.
Chris Christie leaves a meeting with the Prime Minister.

HOWEVER, on Monday, I broke down for you the horrendous state of the Governor’s polling among likely Republican voters and my humble opinion that he’s doing himself more harm than good by prioritizing presidential travel over conservative governance. He’s got a story to tell but for whatever strange reason seems determined to continue going in another direction, repeating one of Mitt Romney’s biggest mistakes from the 2012 cycle. 

Apparently my concerns are justified. In a new Monmouth poll released Wednesday, a full “[t]wo-thirds of New Jerseyans (66%) believe that Gov. Christie is more concerned with his own political future than he is with governing the state (25%).” His popularity hovers at 48%, 4-points shy of being upside down, but worse still, in the presidential politics context, polled N.J. voters only prefer their native son by a narrow margin over Jeb Bush.

“Clinton leading Christie in ‘Blue Jersey’ isn’t too much of a shock,” opined Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute,” but Jeb Bush’s competitiveness among Garden State Republicans should give the governor pause.”

Like I’ve been saying. For a looong time. And at this week’s A.C. GOP Statewide Event, while I found plenty of affection for the Governor among ran-and-file attendees, it was nearly impossible to find anyone who agreed with his recent political decision-making (who wasn’t on stage).

Friends are honest with each other. They tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. My two cents: come home, Big Guy! And give battle to the Democrats, at both ends of the Turnpike, like you promised! Campaign hard in 2015 by hitting the trail early and helping pick up at least a few Assembly seats. It’s in your best own interest and, not coincidentally, ours too. There’s work to be done.

The Governor is fond of saying that you need to win the election, then the argument. I disagree at least in this case. Overseas photo sprays are designed to demonstrate that someone is capable of being presidential. First and foremost, he needs to remind people that he’s capable of being a dynamic and articulate conservative steward of the State of New Jersey.

Step #1: no gas tax hike.

Matt Rooney
About Matt Rooney 8496 Articles
MATT ROONEY is SaveJersey.com's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.


  1. AMEN! How many times do I have to say that is he simply stays here and DOES HIS JOB, the voters and the presidency will come looking for him rather than the opposite?

  2. 100% agree. The best thing that the Gov can do is make smart, conservative proposals here in NJ. Give the GOP legislative candidates in 2015 something to run on and then campaign fiercely with them. Any GOP candidate can go to England and have a chat with the PM. Not every GOP candidate can govern effectively in a blue state.

  3. Completely, which is why we need a governor who’s only ambition is to do right by the state. If a governor does that, the people will be banging down the Drumthwackett door to get them to run for president.

  4. I believe a Christie Presidential campaign will end in disaster for him. He won’t win Iowa, will not do well in NH, and then lose big in South Carolina, forcing him out like Guiliani. This is going to come down to Bush v someone else, and I think that someone else might be Walker if he runs. When you compare records of all three (Bush, Walker & Christie) Walker comes out on top.

  5. .

    I guess the Establishment will have to coalesce around other moderate governors like Jeb Bush or Scott Walker…

  6. I have been a Chris Christie supporter but there is no question about it. He is shirking his responsibilities to the people of New Jersey. He is turning in to a sellout and I really thought he was the real deal. Perhaps it’s impossible to actually give a damn and run a state or a country. He is a sellout though!! Extremely disappointing. Voted twice for him but not anymore!!

  7. Joe Schilp and many others warned us about Christie in 2009. I learned my lesson and voted for Seth Grossman in 2013. If all my fellow conservatives did the same we would not be in the mess we are in right now.

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