Christie’s Presidential Campaign: What Went Wrong?
A New Jersey political expert says a lot has gone wrong for Gov. Chris Christie along the campaign trail.
Montclair University Professor of Political Science and Law Brigid Harrison says Christie's "tell it like it is" style was swamped by Donald Trump's version of the same strategy.
"With Donald Trump in the race, though they are not ideologically similar, they do have a more personal style. So for voters who appreciated a kind of, 'telling it like it is' mentality, that bombastic personality, I think that Trump did siphon off some of Christie's support," Harrison said.
Harrison also thinks that Christie was damaged this year by a relatively crowded field of moderates. She says, "When Mitt Romney ran for President in 2012, he really was the only moderate standard bearer in the party. And that enabled him to secure about 45% of the New Hampshire primary vote. When you compare that with this year, where you have Kasich, and Bush, Rubio and Christie all vying for that moderate portion of the vote it is not surprising that their numbers are going to be smaller, and some candidates are going to have to fall by the wayside, like the Governor will."
Harrison said a lot was made of the governor's alleged post-Sandy "hug" with President Obama because "the big money establishment within the Republican party viewed him as being disloyal." She says the governor will take great measure to tell you that it wasn't a hug. But according to Harrison, "nationally, many voters looked at the praise that the governor heaped on President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, just days before the 2012 Presidential election, as a betrayal of Mitt Romney and a betrayal of the Republican Party."
In addition, despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, Christie was never quite able to completely extricate himself from the shadow of Bridgegate.
"In New Jersey, we look at Bridgegate as kind of being the watershed moment, where the governor's popularity began to plummet," she said.