A Tea Party view of Chris Christie

Sunday morning brought an e-mail from Leslie at Temple of Mut alerting me to this video

... where Paul Gigot says Chris Christie is seriously considering running. Look at the guy. He hasn't thought about running in his life. But I kid.

I was thrilled to hear this because the current field is so weak. Rick Perry is an unprincipled, crony capitalist, loose cannon, and Mitt Romney is a liberal RINO who would coddle the big banks. I probably can't vote for any of the current field other than Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

I think Chris Christie is just about the perfect Republican candidate. He's a straight-talker, which the public is craving after four years of Obama's empty promises. He's got no social conservative baggage to scare off moderates, independents, and libertarians. He's a Northeasterner, refreshing for a national Republican, with a real chance to win swing states like Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. He's got successful executive experience, even working with a Democratic legislature. And most of all, he has stood up to the public employee unions which Americans know are bleeding the country dry.

Along comes fellow San Diego Tea Party blogger Shane Atwell to throw some cold water on Christie. Shane did a great round-up of Conservative New Jersey's series bashing Christie. Please click on over and read the whole thing at Shane's blog, but I'll extract and comment on the key points in Shane's summary of CNJ's beef:

CNJ: Christie didn't cut spending, he just reduced it from the Democrats' projected baseline increase.

WCV: True, but he arrested the out-of control growth rate of spending and held it almost flat. And adjusted for inflation, it's a cut. As a percent of GDP, it's a cut. Per capita, it's a cut. You try that with big Democrat majorities in the legislature. President Christie would have a Republican Congress, and would be able to pass real structural reforms.

CNJ: Christie fought only local teachers unions, not state employee unions.

WCV: I'll let Shane cover this one. "Keep in mind that the background piece of this very [CNJ] series describes how the local school teachers and administrators are bankrupting New Jersey. Part 1 also points out the reason the Governor should be interested in local costs: state taxes support municipalities and schools. Part 1 also bizarrely criticized Christie for cutting those funds, referring to those cuts as 'raids'. So what is the point here, that Christie should bailout the out of control local unions if budget decisions are made locally? And then to follow this contradictory criticism with a grudging admission that Christie has started to reform pensions, but that he hasn't gone far enough. Give me a break."

CNJ: Christie campaigns for RINOs like Meg Whitman and Linda McMahon, not conservative candidates.

WCV: True but big whoop. He's a team player and not a movement conservative.

CNJ: Christie campaigned touting "green jobs" nonsense.

WCV: True, but his proposals were pretty bland and generic (recruit green businesses with tax breaks, etc.) and I'm not aware of him having implemented any heavy-handed green policy. You have to talk green to win in Democratic New Jersey. Christie did.

CNJ: Christie didn't join other states in suing to block ObamaCare.

WCV: He's a Republican in a Democratic state. He was fighting tough legislative battles. Wasting political capital to be one more name on the lawsuit would have accomplished nothing.

CNJ: Christie supports gun control.

WCV: True but irrelevant to legislation. No gun control bill is going to go through a Republican Congress, and Christie is not stupid enough to do anything in his executive powers to piss off the Republican base.

In short, Chris Christie is not Ron Paul. But then no one under 70 years old or over 20% in the polls is Ron Paul. If Ron Paul can win the primary, he's my guy. But if Paul falls short, Chris Christie will be just fine with me.

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