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“Trump-Christie 2016, Make Bullying Great Again”: Chris Christie Trumped Marco Rubio’s Big Day By Endorsing The Donald

Of course Chris Christie endorsed Donald Trump today. Of course.

Freshman Florida Sen. Marco Rubio popped Trump a few times Thursday night and kept at it Friday morning, bringing swoons from the GOP establishment and the media alike. So you knew a Trump counterpunch was coming: Repeatedly throughout the race he has found a way to steal back the spotlight whenever someone nudges him out of it.

So what card does Trump play to deflate Rubio-mentum? Christie – Rubio’s tormentor, who authored the lowest point of his political career. Christie, whose presumed last act in this race had been what my colleague David Catanese memorably called a political “suicide-bomber” attack on robotic Rubio. Christie, who Trump has unveiled like a presumed dead comic book villain who suddenly appears alive and angry. Christie is Rubio’s personal zombie apocalypse.

Is the Marco train still steaming? Who knows? Everyone’s talking about Chris Christie, whose endorsement his former rivals had all sought.

How does it play? Here’s what Slate’s Josh Voorhees wrote about Christie’s endorsement decision after the New Jersey governor dropped out of the race:

He could endorse one of his former establishment-minded rivals.

… [S]uch a decision would pack considerably more punch than a normal one since many would see it as evidence that the Republican establishment was finally starting to coalesce around a single candidate. Christie, of course, does not speak for the entire GOP establishment – if he did, he’d still be in the race! – but perceived momentum can become actual momentum in politics, particularly at a moment when the battle between Rubio, Bush, and Kasich is so muddled.

How about this for packing a punch and stopping momentum, perceived or actual? Just as the establishment actually is coalescing around his favorite punching bag, Christie bets on Trump.

And why not? The primaries demonstrated that this moderate-positioned governor of a northeastern blue state doesn’t have much future in conventional Republican politics. Bluster aside, Christie is on the George Pataki track of political relevance. But he could have a future in Trump’s Republican Party. Attorney General Christie? How about Vice President Christie?

Conventionally a Trump-Christie ticket wouldn’t make any sense because he doesn’t tick the usual running mate boxes: He doesn’t bring geographical or political balance to the ticket and he doesn’t otherwise fill in an area of Trump weakness. But just ask Trump: He has no weakness so what’s to fill in?

In an ordinary year one would think that Christie would run into the same vetting problem he ran into four years ago when Mitt Romney considered adding him to the ticket. Here’s how Mark Halperin and John Heilemann described in “Double Down: Game Change 2012” the conclusion Romney’s team reached about the New Jersey governor:

Ted Newton [who had managed the vice presidential search] had come into the vet liking Christie for his brashness and straight talk. Now, surveying the sum and substance of what the team was finding, Newton told his colleagues, If Christie had been in the nomination fight against us, we would have destroyed him – he wouldn’t be able to run for governor again. When you look below the surface, Newton said, it’s not pretty.

So in that sense, he’s a perfect match for Trump, who – as Rubio is suddenly and loudly realizing at the 11th hour – has not gotten the kind of vetting a front-runner usually does, at least from his competitors. (As HuffPo’s Sam Stein reported yesterday the other candidates haven’t even got complete opposition research files on him yet.) Does anyone really think that Trump will thoroughly vet his running mate? The process will probably play out in a reality TV special where he fires candidates until one (Christie?) is left.

And there actually would be political precedent for a Trump-Christie ticket – Bill Clinton tapped fellow young, moderate, Southern Democrat Al Gore in 1992 in order to double down on his “new Democrat” campaign message. Trump could do the same with Christie.

The slogan writes itself: Trump-Christie 2016 – Make Bullying Great Again.

 

By: Michael Schlesinger, Managing Editor for Opinion, U. S. News and World Report, February 26, 2016

 

February 27, 2016 - Posted by | Chris Christie, Donald Trump, Establishment Republicans, Marco Rubio | , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Christie has been seen by some Republicans as a traitor for having the audacity to thank the President for helping New Jersey families after Hurricane Sandy. Setting aside the immaturity of that feeling, he is being asked to solidify a candidate who is not that staunch of a Republican. It disappoints me that Christie would throw his credibility, tarnished that it is, behind a divisive, deceitful and dangerous candidate.

    Like

    Comment by Keith | February 27, 2016 | Reply

    • Christie is looking out for himself, ie Bridgegate. Hoping Trump will return the favor of pardoning him down the road.

      Like

      Comment by raemd95 | February 27, 2016 | Reply

  2. Christie is hoping for a Trump pardon if bridgegate finally catches up with him.

    Like

    Comment by walthe310 | February 27, 2016 | Reply

    • Yes. Christie is hoping he’ll be Trump’s AG so he can stop all investigations in their tracks.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by raemd95 | February 27, 2016 | Reply


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