Chris Christie Tells Iowans That Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio Are Liars – —By Patrick Caldwell | Sat Jan. 30, 2016 1:12 PM EST

“What else are they not going to tell you the truth about?”

Congressional Quarterly/ZUMA

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign never really caught steam. In Iowa, he’s barely registering in the polls, and in New Hampshire (seemingly friendlier territory) he’s generally in sixth place. So with the first votes fast approaching, he’s settled on a strategy of attacking the non-Trump frontrunners, particularly Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, as dishonest politicians who are lying to voters.

At a town hall at the University of Iowa early Saturday morning, Christie devoted much of his stump speech to lambasting Cruz and Rubio for dissembling when it comes to their stances on immigration reform. “Here’s my only problem with Sen. Rubio and Sen. Cruz: they won’t tell you the truth,” Christie warned the Iowans, noting their equivocation on the immigration issue during Thursday’s GOP debate. “They stood there and tried to tell you that what you saw and what you heard, you didn’t see and you didn’t hear. That they didn’t change their positions at all. Sen. Rubio in particular.”

Article continues:

GOP contenders just saying no to fight against pot – By Alexander Bolton September 01, 2015, 06:01 am


`GOP presidential candidates are by and large staying away from the debate marijuana legalization, an issue once embraced by Republican occupants of the White House.

They have stayed largely silent as support for legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana has gained public support.

Fifty-three percent of adults nationwide say marijuana should be legal while 43 percent say the opposite, according to CBS News poll from April.

A Pew Research Center poll from March found a similar margin.

Colorado, Washington State, Oregon and Alaska have legalized marijuana for recreational use while another five will vote on the question in 2016.

Only New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and long-shot candidate Rick Santorum support a federal crackdown on state policies legalizing cannabis, which is still classified as a Schedule I drug — the most dangerous category, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Christie delivered residents of Colorado, which passed a legalization initiative in 2012, a blunt warning earlier this summer.

“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it. As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws. That’s lawlessness,” he said.

Other candidates have soft-pedaled the issue, preferring to focus on the economy, the federal deficit, national security and immigration.

Article continues:

Chris Christie fades into darkness – By DANIEL STRAUSS   8/22/15 8:01 AM EDT   Updated 8/22/15 8:01 AM EDT

Sinking in the polls and struggling to gain traction in New Hampshire, the New Jersey governor could be relegated to the “kiddie table” debate next month.

Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gestures while speaking at the RedState Gathering Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

He was supposed to be the brash, blunt New York-area candidate who told it like it is. Then came Donald Trump.

Chris Christie, the voluble New Jersey governor, is once again facing the possibility that he might be relegated to the junior varsity debate — and rival Republican campaigns and outside observers say his window to re-enter the top tier of presidential candidates is closing fast.

Wednesday night’s scene in New Hampshire showed the daunting challenge ahead of Christie. As CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC covered Trump’s first town hall live — breaking only to run clips of Jeb Bush attacking the real estate tycoon — Christie was gasping for air on C-SPAN. Because the governor’s dimly lit event — a town hall at a restaurant outside of Manchester — was outdoors, the few viewers watching saw the candidate gradually disappear into darkness. The next day’s headlines duly focused on the Jeb-Donald contretemps, ignoring Christie’s play for a state he has made central to his fading White House hopes.

“He’s just not getting the traction that I think he was expecting,” said Andy Seale, the former chairman of the Republican Party in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.

Christie has become such an also-ran that the Associated Press and the New York Times recently reassigned reporters dedicated to covering Christie — Jill Colvin and Kate Zernike — to other beats.

Then there are the polls.

If current trends hold, the New Jersey governor will likely lose his spot in the primetime CNN/Reagan Library debate on Sept. 16, displaced by a surging Carly Fiorina. As of mid-day Thursday, Christie was in 11th place among GOP presidential contenders in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls — behind Trump, Bush, Ben Carson, Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz, Fiorina, Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. John Kasich, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.


Article continues:

FIFA, Freddie Gray and the New Power of the Prosecutor – By Benjamin Wallace-Wells May 31, 2015 10:50 p.m.

Marilyn Mosby. Photo: Alex Brandon/AP/Corbis

Marilyn Mosby. Photo: Alex Brandon/AP/Corbis

One reason that prosecutors are often such theatrical, grandiose types (Preet Bharara, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie) may be that the role naturally fits a particular quixotic self-image, the state’s attorney against the world. In the press clippings the prosecutor is not just a distributor of retributive justice, the official sent to ensure a mugger goes to jail, but the means by which the state takes on broader conspiracies and corruptions: The mafia, Islamic terrorists, rings of insider traders embedded within banks, hedge funds and corporations. The vanity of the state’s attorney is often that he is not just delivering individual justice but taking down corrupt and criminal institutions — that he is practicing modernization politics by other means.

Since 9/11 many liberals have worried about the powers that prosecutors were acquiring to monitor email and phone traffic, to trace the flows of money. The past couple of weeks have served as a reminder of how much a powerful state, in the hands of a progressive prosecutor, can do. First, Marilyn Mosby in Baltimore announced manslaughter and murder charges against the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray. Then in the space of the last few days Loretta Lynch first announced that four banks had agreed to pay $2.5 billion in fines for rigging the foreign exchange markets, and then revealed indictments against fourteen of the planet’s most senior soccer officials, describing a pattern of corruption and bribery that has been endemic within FIFA for decades.

The image that cohered in these two African-American women was that of the prosecutor as social justice warrior, with smoke-filled rooms evaporating before her. In the same press conference Lynch denounced the old boys club that had corrupted the World Cup and made the case for renewing a key provision of the Patriot Act. One interesting question, should a Democrat win election in 2016, is whether liberals will be more comfortable with an expansive state if that state is also an activist, progressive one.

Lynch and Mosby made their activism easy to see. In these three cases the prosecutors were more or less explicit that they were not just interested in jailing a few criminals but in changing a corrupt culture — of the police in Baltimore, the banks, institutional soccer. If politics were working perfectly, we wouldn’t need their intervention; criminal indictments wouldn’t be required to fix these institutions. But because they are, there is a tension at the heart of all these cases. What the prosecutor can do is to indict criminals for criminal behavior. What we want the prosecutor to do is not just put a few villains on parade but to make Wall Street more responsible, the police less brutal, soccer television rights more transparently marketed. Sometimes one leads naturally to the other. Not always.

Article continues:

Christie channels Tom Brady in New Hampshire – By BEN SCHRECKINGER 5/8/15 2:32 PM EDT

Struggling New Jersey governor invokes besieged quarterback on his home turf.

Chris Christie is pictured. | AP Photo

Chris Christie just threw a Hail Mary in New Hampshire.

Behind in the polls, with his former staffers facing indictments in one court and his signature pension reform facing implosion in another, the New Jersey governor rushed to defend a scandal-plagued leader Granite State voters can definitely get behind: Tom Brady.

“I think there’s a little bit too much attention on this,” said Christie of reports that the New England Patriots quarterback was probably complicit in a plot to tamper with the footballs he used in games, calling the scandal “way, way overblown” in a Thursday interview with IJReview.

“I don’t think anybody is really trying to say that Tom Brady won four super bowls or became a future Hall of Famer because the balls were a little under inflated,” Christie added. “I think the media and others love for somebody who is married to a beautiful model, who is richer than you can imagine and who is a future Hall of Famer, to take a couple of shots at him? People like that every once in a while.”

Article continues:

Read more:

Chris Christie on the brink – By ALEX ISENSTADT 3/12/15 8:09 PM EDT

His challenge: Reassuring nervous supporters that he still has a prayer

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie walks off stage after addressing the annual  Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington,DC on February 26, 2015.    AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Chris Christie’s political team has a problem: Even the campaign’s supporters need to be reassured that he’s still in the presidential game.

In a recent closed-door “campaign update” meeting with high-powered lobbyists, PR professionals, and attorneys in a downtown Washington, D.C. office, Christie’s defenders were under the gun.

His poll numbers were sinking. There were troublesome budget and pension issues back home. Jeb Bush and Scott Walker have cut into Christie’s base of establishment-minded donors.

On this day, the duty to address the widely-held perception that the New Jersey governor is flailing fell to Bill Palatucci, Christie’s political consigliere.

Yes, other 2016 contenders had emerged as frontrunners, Palatucci acknowledged to the group.

Christie was going through the grinder, he conceded, according to accounts from several attendees. But Palatucci insisted it would be a serious mistake to write the governor off.

Eventually, he said, the other candidates would also come under tough scrutiny. As a former chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Christie remained well-positioned to tap into a deep well of donors who he’d gotten to know in recent years.

“[Palatucci’s] whole thing was, ‘You’d be crazy to count him out,” said one person at the meeting, which was attended by around 15 people — a mix of supporters and prospective backers who Christie’s team is trying to court. “There was realism, but not concern.”

Article continues:

Read more:

Oil Baron of the Pine Barrens – By Alan Neuhauser March 12, 2015 | 12:01 a.m. EDT

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie against smokestacks.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has become closer to traditional energy interests as his national profile has grown.

There’s an old joke in New Jersey: When the Texas oil fields go dry, the next great source of crude will come not from the Gulf or the Arctic but from Arthur Kill, the historically polluted shipping channel separating the Garden State and Staten Island, New York.

But a still better source might lie 50 miles down the New Jersey Turnpike, where political analysts say oil and gas has seeped into the statehouse, fueling the national ambitions of a governor who has carefully built an unusually close and personal relationship with the energy sector – an apparent evolution that’s allegedly come at the expense of local voters and public safety.

Chris Christie has focused his thinking on a national level, so New Jersey for so many years has become less important,” says Brigid Callahan Harrison, president of the New Jersey Political Science Association.

That dynamic came into stark relief last month, Harrison and others say, when the GOP governor quietly agreed to settle a decadelong $8.9 billion legal battle with Exxon Mobil for just $225 million.

Legal experts say victory for the state was virtually assured – Exxon Mobil was already liable for contaminating at least 1,500 acres of sensitive wetlands along Arthur Kill and Newark Bay. All that remained was assessing how much the company owed for the restoration and loss of use of the land. Yet just weeks before an expected decision, reports say, Christie’s chief counsel intervened, overstepping career attorneys who had worked the case for years to institute the settlement with Exxon.

An oil tanker docks in the Arthur Kill waterway April 22, 2008, in Linden, N.J.

An oil tanker docks in the Arthur Kill waterway in 2008 in Linden, N.J.

Article continues:

Dying for a Conservative Cause – By Mark Joseph Stern FEB. 4 2015 3:23 PM

Republicans put liberty ahead of life.

 Sen. Rand Paul and other conservatives choose “freedom” over lives. Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters.

Sen. Rand Paul and other conservatives choose “freedom” over lives.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters.

A measles epidemic is creeping across America, bringing a once-vanquished disease roaring back to life and sickening hundreds of people, mostly children. These serious illnesses, like the outbreak itself, were entirely preventable; the disease has re-emerged because of the anti-vaccine movement, and its victims were largely unvaccinated. You might expect politicians to line up in support of vaccinations. Instead, Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul—both presumptive 2016 Republican presidential candidates—swung in the opposite direction, with Christie calling for parents’ “choice” and Paul advocating for vaccine “freedom.”

Many commentators were puzzled by the politicians’ decisions to pander to the anti-vaccine movement, especially given that turning vaccines into a partisan issue may well cause more people to put their children at risk of preventable illnesses. (There are willfully ignorant liberals who spread lies about vaccines, including one disgrace to his famous name, but no Democratic Party leaders endorse anti-vax conspiracy theories.) But no one should be surprised that Republicans are putting politics ahead of public health. Republicans are currently cheering on an anti-Obamacare lawsuit that could strip millions of health insurance. They’re willing to put Americans at risk of death just to score points against a law they hate.

To see why the GOP’s new legal campaign against Obamacare poses such a serious threat to public health, it helps to understand that it is based on what Slate contributor Eric Segall called “an outright falsehood.” The Affordable Care Act was designed to encourage states to create their own health care exchanges, allowing people to sign up on state-run websites to receive subsidies for health insurance. However, Congress understood that not every state would be eager to partake in the subsidies system. Accordingly, the ACA calls for the federal government to create exchanges in states that refuse to make their own, allowing people in anti-Obamacare states to receive federal subsidies to purchase a health insurance plan.

Christie in the Iowa lion’s den – By Cameron Joseph January 24, 2015, 07:09 pm

DES MOINES, Iowa — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) pitched himself as a true conservative to Iowa’s most faithful, earning grudging applause from a skeptical audience as he promised he would always be honest with them.

Getty Image

“If I was too blunt, too direct, too loud and too New Jersey for Iowa, then why do you people keep inviting me back?” he said, touting his friendship with Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), the event’s organizer and a hero to the base. “Im here today because I’ve been a friend to Iowa and Iowa’s been a friend to me.”

Christie repeatedly asked the state’s activists to give him a chance, spending a good chunk of his speech aimed at convincing them he’s sufficiently socially conservative. He talked about why he is anti-abortion and described how he vetoed his state’s gay marriage bill.

“Being honest… is never a liability,” he said. “The notion that our party must abandon our belief in the sanctity of life to be competitive in blue states is simply not true and I am living proof of that fact.”

Christie also argued that the party had to broaden its appeal to win nationwide, touting his own high performance with Hispanics, independents, women and African Americans in his last election.

“If our conservatism is really going to succeed it must be able to defend itself in every part of this country,” he said.

There were some empty seats by the time the governor took the stage at the end of a long day of marathon speeches. But those who stayed seemed to at least be willing to hear him out.

Christie got an early assist from a pro-immigration protestor — the audience came to its feet and roared to defend him, as it had to back former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) a few minutes prior.

Christie also asked for voters not to count him out because of one topic or another — and all but announced his campaign, referring to himself as a candidate.

“I’m sure you won’t agree with me or any other candidate on every single issue…  If you want a candidate that agrees with you 100 percent of the time, let me give you some advice. Go home and look in the mirror,” he said to laughs and applause. “I can tell you that you’ll always know who I am, you’ll always know what I bleive and you’ll always know where I stand.”

Chris Christie Sounds Pretty Ready to Run for President – By Caroline Bankoff January 13, 2015 5:54 p.m.

With all the, uh … excitement surrounding the possibility of Mitt Romney challenging Jeb Bush for the 2016 Republican nomination, we almost forgot that Chris Christie is still threatening to launch his own presidential campaign. Christie’s Tuesday State of the State address certainly appeared to be intended for an audience beyond New Jersey — and that’s not just because he barred the local media from his pre-speech meeting with national reporters.

Photo: Ethan Miller/2014 Getty Images

“America’s leadership in the world is called into question because of a pattern of indecision and inconsistency. During this time of uncertainty it seems our leaders in Washington would rather stoke division for their own political gain,” said Christie during the 43-minute talk, which included several references to the 150 days he spent traveling outside of New Jersey this year. “We need to renew the spirit and the hopes of our state, our country and our people. We need a New Jersey renewal and an American renewal.”

Christie also had plenty to say about what’s been going on in New Jersey, highlighting his vetoing of several proposed tax increases, his effort to reform the state pension system, and a decrease in unemployment. Unsurprisingly, there were no references to the issue that haunted his last State of the State — Bridgegate — but the GOP’s anti-Christie folks will have plenty to say about it if and when he officially announces his interest in higher office.