NYT: Conservatives Leery of Christie

They're flying a banner at the Jersey Shore: "Christie Can't Be Trusted."

The New York Times reports this morning that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is still having trouble attracting the support of conservatives he’ll need to win the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

Mr. Christie, who prides himself on his defiance of political convention, refuses to communicate the kind of emphatic, crowd-pleasing message that would leave him unassailable with that crucial constituency, and he has shown little enthusiasm for befriending its self-appointed leadership, elements of which are turning on him with speed and vigor.

In a sustained and high-profile attack more than two years before the election, advocates of conservative judicial philosophy have begun to pummel Mr. Christie as failing to nominate sufficiently right-leaning judges to New Jersey’s highest court. They are also bankrolling derisive billboards in states where he is campaigning for Republicans this fall and flying a banner over the Jersey Shore declaring, “Christie can’t be trusted.”

Christie’s aides, though, think he might actually have an advantage because of this: “They recognize that a measure of conservative displeasure can work to their advantage: It reinforces Mr. Christie’s reputation for telling voters what they may not want to hear.”

There’s only one thing voters love more than being told stuff they don’t want to hear. And that’s being told stuff they want to hear.