N.J. Residents Don’t Like Chris Christie Much Anymore

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his budget at the Statehouse, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Trenton, N.J. Tuesday's budget address comes nearly a week after Christie ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his budget at the Statehouse, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Trenton, N.J. Tuesday’s budget address comes nearly a week after Christie ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Chris Christie’s run for president has been over for more than a week. Now he’s back in the state where voters elected him governor with more than 60 percent of the vote more than two years ago. That has changed.

The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released two surveys on Christie this week. Both show New Jersey’s registered voters increasingly dissatisfied with the governor.

“It is no coincidence that New Jersey voters give Governor Christie some of his lowest character ratings to date upon his return home,” Ashley Koning, assistant director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University, said in a release. “With the governor spending the last several months on the campaign trail, positive perceptions of him have taken a hit across the board in his absence – especially leadership, a trait that has usually been his strong suit since taking office.” Read more »

It’s Official: Chris Christie Drops Out of Presidential Race

Chris Christie - campaign

Chris Christie will be back in New Jersey a lot more often.

The N.J. governor, who finished 10th in Iowa and sixth in New Hampshire, is dropping out of the presidential race. His campaign confirmed the news to the Associated Press this afternoon.

Christie’s final act in the race was essentially a takedown of Marco Rubio — who had finished third in Iowa — in Saturday night’s Republican debate. Christie accused Rubio of giving a “memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him.” Rubio responded by saying the same “memorized 25-second speech” as before, incredibly. But while that debate exchange hurt Rubio — he finished fifth — it did not help Christie. Read more »

Christie Gets Down on One Knee to Woo Undecided New Hampshire Voter

Screen grab via ABC News.

Screen grab via ABC News.

New Hampshire, Chris Christie needs your vote, and he is prepared to show you just how badly. The New Jersey governor got down on one knee to appeal to an undecided voter at his town hall in Hudson, New Hampshire, Monday morning.

The normally brash, occasionally caustic Christie displayed his softer side, and it paid off. Read more »

Chris Christie Really Only Beat Rick Santorum in Iowa

Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a town hall at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016.

Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a town hall at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016.

John Kasich phoned in his Iowa campaign. Literally.

The Ohio governor and presidential candidate held three “tele-town halls” in Iowa, where he talked with voters over the phone. At one point, he flew into Iowa to hold one rally, which The Des Moines Register called “unusual” and said he “alternately complimented and playfully antagonized the people who had come to listen to him speak.”

Kasich has concentrated most of his campaigning in New Hampshire, where according to polls he’s in a race for second place. New York Times politics writer tweeted Kasich ignored Iowa.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also focused on New Hampshire, but he did not ignore Iowa. He was there for all or part of 42 days, costing New Jersey taxpayers millions. Christie first visited the state back in 2010, and famously vetoed a symbolic pig crate ban in 2014 in order to appease Iowa voters. On Sunday night, he campaigned with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.

His campaign manager said Kasich, who had already left the state, was making the wrong choice. “You fight for every vote,” Christie’s campaign manager, Mike DuHaime, told the Washington Post. “I know John Kasich decided to leave, and that’s fine, that’s their strategy. But you have to respect the process.” Christie told Good Morning America he wouldn’t win, but he’d do well: “What I’ve wanted all along is to come out of Iowa as the number one governor. Polls show that I will be the number one governor.”

Whoops. Read more »

Gov. Christie Announces “Partnership” — Not State Takeover — in Atlantic City

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

Call it a state takeover. Call it a “partnership.” Call it … well, “You can call it what you want to call it,” in the words of Gov. Chris Christie.

Either way, the state government of New Jersey is set to move gain more control over Atlantic City’s finances. Christie, flanked by N.J. Senate president Steve Sweeney and Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian, announced today at a press conference that legislation will be forthcoming on the issue.

Atlantic City will finally get its PILOT bill, which gives the city more predictable payments from the city’s casinos and which Christie let die last week, while the state will get the power to terminate local union collective bargaining agreements, privatize utilities and other financial powers over the financially troubled casino resort town.

“Atlantic City’s finances are now the greatest threat to the city’s well-being,” Christie said at the press conference announcing the “partnership” this afternoon. “The urgency of the city’s current financial predicament cannot be overstated.”

Sweeney said a takeover bill already in the legislature will be amended with the PILOT program and other state aid to the city. Read more »

South Jersey Shore Town Residents Slam Christie Over Storm Response

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We got a lot of snow over the weekend. But the Winter Storm of 2010 was just as big. It dropped between 12 and 32 inches in the Northeast. New Jersey got slammed with snow.

Chris Christie was in Disney World. It was his first year in office; he had planned a vacation with his family and said he wasn’t coming back for a snowstorm. Critics lambasted Christie. He made no apologies. “I wanted to be there with my kids,” Christie said. “I had a great five days with my children.”

As Matt Katz writes in his new book, American Governor, “Christie would not put himself at risk of falling again.” He got nationwide attention for his spiel before Hurricane Irene: “Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out. You’re done. It’s four-thirty. You’ve maximized your tan.” He spoke to the media several times before Superstorm Sandy in 2012. At his final press conference, he spoke to the children of New Jersey directly: “Remain calm. The adults are taking care of business. Don’t be scared.”

Christie and his aids viewed the devastation with horror. Christie, then Mitt Romney‘s chief surrogate on the campaign trail, said he wasn’t concerned about the election anymore. “I will tell you this administration, at the moment, could give a damn less about Election Day,” he said. “If you hear the things that I just talked about and the devastation that’s been visited upon this state, I am sure that while the national election is obviously very important, that the people of New Jersey at this moment would really be unhappy with me if they thought for a second I would occupy my time thinking about how I was going to get people to vote a week from today.”

The governor changed his tune now that he’s running for office himself. Read more »

Bankruptcy A Possibility for Atlantic City After Christie Veto

Atlantic City beach and boardwalk at twilight

Photo | Dan McQuade

Atlantic City could be out of cash by April.

That’s according to Mayor Don Guardian, who said estimates have the city running out of money in just a few months if state aid doesn’t come. “Bankruptcy is now back on the table,” Guardian said in a release. “If the state is not able to come up with the funding we need within the next few weeks, we will have no choice but to declare bankruptcy.”

Until yesterday, Atlantic City thought it was getting that funding: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t sign a bill that would plug $33.5 million in a state budget gap. It is essentially a veto.

It gets worse: In November, Chris Christie vetoed a similar bill, telling lawmakers he wanted the state to have more control over the funds going to Atlantic City. Lawmakers acquiesced, passing a new bill in line with what Christie requested. He let it sit until the bill died yesterday at noon.

Guardian, a Republican like Christie, released a statement blasting the decision.

“Governor Chris Christie and State Senate President Steve Sweeney initially reached out to Atlantic City last year and told us of their plans to draft a PILOT bill that would greatly aid our financial recovery,” Guardian said in the statement. “It wasn’t a perfect bill, but it was a bill that everyone could agree on. The bill was discussed, debated, and deliberated about endlessly. Then there was radio silence. We needed a decision and anticipated an answer on this crucial bill many, many months ago. All of us worked hard on the passage of this bill for over 18 months. So much time was wasted. And today, we finally have received that answer from the Governor.

“I must say, we are tremendously frustrated by the veto of this crucial bill because of all the hard work and effort that went into crafting this bill, for all the consensus building in the New Jersey Legislature that has gone for naught, and for all the cooperation locally that is now cancelled. It is certainly disappointing.” Read more »

Christie: Obama Lax on Weed Because He Used to Smoke Pot

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As we all know, Chris Christie isn’t spending much time in New Jersey, which is racking up quite the tab for his state security detail. But what do you expect: He’s running for president, and to win early-nominating states you have to spend a lot of time in Iowa and New Hampshire to talk about corn and freedom and whatever. This is how we choose our president.

So. Chris Christie was in Council Bluffs, Iowa, this morning — it’s just two weeks until Iowa’s first-in-the-nation nominating caucuses — and spoke before a standing-room-only crowd of about 100 people.

He told Iowans he would eliminate healthy school lunches if he became president. He also talked about his staunch anti-marijuana stance, and how when he’s president he will be cracking down on states that have legalized weed.

Read more »

Chris Christie Is Rarely in New Jersey, and It Could Be Costly to Taxpayers

Christie 2016 campaign video

We told you earlier this week that Chris Christie barely spends time in New Jersey anymore, and that home state residents aren’t too happy about that. Now there’s a wrinkle to that story: All that out-of-state travel the governor is doing to run for president? Jersey taxpayers might end up paying the bill.

And it’s a big bill: Possibly as much as $1 million. Read more »

Chris Christie Is Rarely in New Jersey, and It’s Hurting Him at Home

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The Wall Street Journal last night posted a story headlined, “Chris Christie’s Absences From New Jersey Are Being Noticed.” In it, reporter Heather Haddon notes that Christie was out of New Jersey some or all of the day for 261 days this year — or 72 percent of 2015. New Jersey’s native son was basically in New Hampshire more than New Jersey. Read more »

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