New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s carefully cultivated image as a tough guy who “gets things done” by compromising and working with Democrats was shattered this week.
Media reports have revealed this week that one of Christie’s top aides used the power of the Governor’s office to cause a monumental traffic jam in Ft. Lee, New Jersey whose Mayor had refused to endorse Christie in the 2013 New Jersey gubernatorial campaign. The traffic jam contributed to the death of a woman whose call for an ambulance was delayed due to the traffic jam.
Christie, a favorite of the Big Government Republican establishment and one of their top choices for President in 2016 conducted a 90 minute news conference on Thursday to try to answer questions about what he knew and when he knew it, but he may have seen his presidential ambitions fatally wounded in the growing scandal.
Christie’s famously combative personality and tough guy ripostes to hecklers and hostile media questions no doubt appeal to those who are unhappy with the Republican leadership’s lackluster milquetoast responses to President Obama and the Democrats.
However, when Chris Christie first became a potential Republican presidential candidate we noted that: “It remains to be seen, however, whether Jersey tough will play well in the Midwest and South where – at least in public – politics is more genteel.”
We think we have our answer on that one now that Republican primary voters have seen where “Jersey tough” leads.
Christie may be telling the truth when he says that he did not authorize the politically motivated traffic jam and knew nothing about the plan to inconvenience the people of Ft. Lee because their Mayor wouldn’t support him politically, but that’s really beside the point.
Personnel is policy, and from our vantage point it looks like Christie’s inner circle are not movement conservatives or Tea Partiers, who respect the constitutional limits on government to protect the individual citizen from abusive and overweening government, but long-time members of the New Jersey GOP establishment – who are happy to use government to gain political advantage or exact retribution against their “enemies.”
Who you walk with says a lot about who you are.
Unfortunately, Chris Christie may be a brawler, but there is no record showing that he walks with limited government constitutional conservatives.
The most important contribution the “Bridge-Gate” scandal makes to the 2016 Republican presidential contest is not what Chris Christie knew and when he knew it. It is that “Bridge-Gate” confirms that Chris Christie surrounds himself with people who share the same kind of thinking that led to the extra-constitutional Obama Administration abuses in a host of scandals: the IRS targeting of conservatives, use of the EPA to “kill” the coal industry, the NSA trampling on the Fourth Amendment and eventually to Obamacare and its bullying of citizens on the most intimate details of their lives and religious beliefs.
Instead of walking with people who oppose bullying government in all its forms, what the “Bridge-Gate” scandal has shown is that Chris Christie surrounded himself with people who see Big Government as a handy political weapon. The last thing we need is a Big Government Republican like Chris Christie as President because he will bring to the White House and his Administration a bunch of Republican versions of Eric Holder and Kathleen Sibelius who will continue to use government as their weapon to punish political opponents.