WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
Christie Moonlighting as GOP Campaigner
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Fresh off his National Republican convention keynote address, N.J. Governor Chris Christie — who recently described himself as the third most important Republican after Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan — is hitting the campaign trail for Republicans in key swing states.
Governor Christie's day job may be as chief executive of New Jersey but he's moonlighting as a headliner for fellow Republicans around the country.
This week Christie is going to North Carolina for Pat McCrory, the former mayor of Charlotte and a candidate for governor. On Friday, Christie heads northwest to Indiana where he campaigns for Congressmen Mike Pence, also running for Governor.
Fairleigh Dickinson University pollster Peter Woolley says there is no downside for Christie with Jersey voters when it comes to the frequent out of state trips.
"It probably helps him at home. New Jersey likes to have a governor that other people think is important," Woolley said.
As co-chair of the Republican Governors Association, Christie can take some credit for GOP in roads in state capitals across the country. Currently, the GOP has 29 governorships — picking up 21 since 2010. Republicans are aiming to pick up as many as four more this November.
Next week, Christie heads to Iowa to raise funds for conservative Republican Congressman Steven King, who last month lent credence to comments by Congresswoman Michelle Bachman that the family of a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had links to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Montclair State University Political Science Professor Brigid Callahan Harrison says a Christie appearance for King could haunt him in a 2013 re-election bid. "When he links himself particularly to these staunchly conservative candidates that can be problematic because New Jersey tends to be a bit more liberal state in terms of its political culture," Harrison says.
The day after the Iowa appearance Governor Christie will headline a National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser. According to the NRCC website, for a campaign donation of just $10 donors are automatically entered in a contest where lunch with Christie is the grand prize.
A spokesman for the New Jersey State Republican State Committee confirmed that the governor's out of state political travels are NOT paid for with public funds.