Despite the recent bridge scandal, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie received a hearty welcome in Iowa. The stop is a part of the tour Christie embarked on as chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA). Although the New Jersey governor has not announced he plans to run in the 2016 presidential election, his recent actions suggest that Christie is a GOP presidential hopeful.
At least seven potential presidential candidates are set to descend on the election battleground of Iowa in the upcoming weeks. The Iowa caucus can be a complete game changer as the first-voting state. It gives parties a chance to see how voters are going to cast their ballots, while national party leaders get to see how voters respond to candidates and their platforms.
Although Christie has not announced a decision to run for president, the governor hit up three cities in the Buckeye state in an effort to raise money for the RGA. A survey conducted by NBC News/Marist concluded that about 50 percent of Republican voters in the state like Christie. The governor is no doubt charismatic and possesses the conservative views required to appeal to Republicans in Iowa. He is also a key supporter of the governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad. Christie was quoted as saying in March, “I think they love me in Iowa.”
Since then, Governor Christie has been working to put voters at ease about the George Washington Bridge lane closing scandal. According to ABC News, Democrats suggest that because Mayor Sokolich did not support Christie’s reelection campaign, retaliation by members of his camp caused major week-long traffic jams. Christie fired his top aide and said that the George Washington Bridge lane closures were part of a traffic study, but officials from New York suggest the study does not exist. Investigations continue as Christie tries to move past the trouble in New Jersey and continues his activities as a GOP presidential hopeful.
Another stop on Chris Christie’s agenda is Chicago. On July 25, the governor will be in town for another fundraiser. Some critics suggest this stop is purely financial as the governor recently raised $1 million for the RGA here.
Christie faces more challenges if he does decide to run in the presidential election is New Jersey’s economy. He stopped by CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference this week and faced some hard questions concerning the state’s bond rating and foreclosure rates. New Jersey lags behind Pennsylvania and New York in job recovery and will not regain employment lost in 2008 for at least ten years. The state is also suffering from 8 percent foreclosures of home loans while the already broken state pension plan lost out on $2.4 million in payments. Some positives that Christie can lay claim to is that unemployment is down to 6.8 percent, and personal income increased by 3.6 percent.
According to Christie, “I’m gearing up to win as many governors races as I can this November, and I’ll make decisions about running for president after that.” During his RGA tour, he has raised more than $60 million for his fellow GOP governors. This sway will no doubt come in handy for New Jersey’s Chris Christie if he hopes to become the GOP presidential candidate.
By Ashley Poag