New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is still being dogged by the scandal known as “Bridgegate,” but that’s not stopping the Republican from testing his 2016 appeal in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire.
After highlighting his pro-life credentials to evangelicals early Friday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s 2014 Road to Majority Policy Conference in Washington D.C., Christie traveled to the Granite State, which is filled with moderate and independent voters who often fancy themselves presidential kingmakers eager to buck the conventional wisdom, to help raise cash for gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein.
Those are two very different trips in one day for Christie. Appealing to social conservatives in D.C. and fiercely independent Republicans in New Hampshire are two critical pieces of a winning 2016 strategy, and the trips are stoking buzz that Christie is trying to unite two often-warring GOP factions to help him score the nomination. And while Christie has long been on shaky ground with social conservatives, New Hampshire has long been seen as fertile territory for this relatively moderate northeastern governor – at least it was until accusations that Christie’s administration abused its power starting piling up early this year.
And what about now? The reactions to Christie from his meet-and-greet with Havenstein at T-Bones’ Great American Eatery in the small town of Bedford on Friday afternoon ranged from sheer enthusiasm, to skepticism, to indifference. But talk of 2016 was rampant.
Christie walked up to 53-year-old Patrick McCoy of Nashua, who was eating a steak sandwich, to say “hello.” McCoy told the politician, “The last governor I shook hands with became president,” recounting when he met Ronald Reagan in junior high. The security officer said he’d be thrilled if Christie ran for president. “I like him. He tells us how it is,” he said.
SOURCE: Aliyah Frumin