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HomePollsGovernor Chris Christie: Obama ‘can’t figure out how to lead’

Governor Chris Christie: Obama ‘can’t figure out how to lead’

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Governor Chris Christie was touting his conservative credentials, twice touting himself as a “conservative Republican” and taking a shot at President Obama within the first 10 minutes of a town hall meeting in Sussex County.

In a far cry from his now infamous praise – infamous in the GOP anyway – of Obama’s leadership during Hurricane Sandy, Christie today said Obama is not an effective leader. Christie told hundreds inside the Vernon Township High School gym:

I know when you look at Washington right now, you shake your head at a president who can’t figure out how to lead, at a Congress that only 11 percent of the people in the last poll I saw approve of the job they’re doing. That’s what happens when you have someone in the executive office who is more concerned about being right than he is concerned about getting things done, but I’m not going to be that kind of leader of New Jersey.

As he appears to be cruising to re-election, Christie continues to walk a fine line in hopes of winning by a large margin in a blue state in November without alienating the conservative voters he will need if he seeks the GOP nomination for president in 2016.

Christie has repeatedly angered both the establishment and the conservative wing of his party, but today he made it known how he views himself – conservative.

New Jersey voters elected “a conservative Republican governor and a Democratic Legislature,” he said. Minutes later, he noted that although he will sign a budget approved by the Legislature this week, he didn’t get everything he wanted: ‘That’s not bad for a conservative governor in a state like this.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers a question during a town hall meeting in Manchester, N.J., Thursday, March 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Christie also made a direct appeal for votes, asking the audience to cast ballots for him and Republican lawmakers who he said favor a tax cut and a government that sticks to its core mission.

We have an opportunity to really send a message. Which philosophy do you believe in?

At the end of the event, an audience member asked him if he’s ever thought about running for president. Many of the several hundred people in the audience stood and applauded.

“It’s incredibly flattering and I really appreciate the response,” Christie said, transitioning into a story that he often uses to close his town halls.

“First thing’s first,” he said, quoting his late mother and biggest influence. “She used to tell me that as a kid because she could tell she had an ambitious kid on her hands. Do the job you have to do and the future will take care of itself.”

A recent round of polling has found that Governor Chris Christie has widespread appeal among Americans nationwide, and a recent Quinnipiac poll has him tied with the likely Democratic nominee – Hillary Clinton – in the always important battleground state of Ohio.

In past recent articles we took a look at the governor’s potential to break through the blue wall by winning majorities of suburban voters and encroach into some Democratic strongholds in urban centers, as well as his likelihood of winning the 14 electoral votes in blue New Jersey.


Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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