The good news for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is that his lethargic campaign got a 5-hour energy blast when the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper endorsed him instead of any one of the dozen or so Republicans running for president.
The good news for all those who didn’t win the conservative paper’s once highly prized endorsement, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who’s banking the future of his entire campaign on doing well in New Hampshire in February, is that few of the candidates the Union Leader has endorsed over the years went on to become president.
Pivoting off a well-worn admonition by Gov. Kasich that the nation better get its pick for president right next time—which is to say he is the right choice—the Union Leader had its own idea of who that right person is.
“We better get it right. Our choice is Gov. Chris Christie. As a U.S. attorney and then a big-state governor, he is the one candidate who has the range and type of experience the nation desperately needs,” its editorial said.
Christie and Kasich are bosom buddies in many ways: both are pro-life conservatives, both have tangled with public sector unions, both have won second terms, both say they buck the system and their party if they have to, both have performed poorly in creating jobs. Gov. Christie has Bridgegate hanging around his neck while Gov. Kasich has scandals waiting to bloom before he leaves office—unconstitutional JobsOhio, embarrassing charter schools, his campaign manager’s husband’s illegal actions while working for the Ohio Department of Education, taxpayer costs associated with his run for president, harmful backroom abortion restrictions, big spending, attacking local governments and teachers, among others.
“Gov. Christie can work across the aisle, but he won’t get rolled by the bureaucrats. We don’t need as President some well-meaning person from the private sector who has no public experience,” the paper’s editorial said.
For the Union Leader, the main reason they are backing Mr. Christie is “he tells it like it is and isn’t shy about it…Other candidates have gained public and media attention by speaking bluntly. But it’s important when you are telling it like it is to actually know what you are talking about.”
John Kasich has tried to corner the market on blunt speaking and ‘telling it like it is,” but after spending millions already in New Hampshire with a promise of spending millions more, Gov. Kasich and his shiny bus with a ticking debt clock on it didn’t snare the paper’s nod of approval.
“Gov. Chris Christie is exactly the conservative Republican needed to take the fight to Hillary Clinton next fall and then get about the serious business of defending us and rebuilding our economy.”
Polling for Iowa’s Republican Presidential Caucus by Quinnipiac University show Christie and Kasich a peas in a pod of sorts. Gov. Kasich comes in at one percent while Gov. Christie comes in at two percent. League leader is Donald Trump at 25 percent with Ted Cruz close behind at 23 percent and Dr. Ben Carson in third place at 18 percent.
In New Hampshire, latest, best polling has Donald Trump at 22, Marco Rubio at 11, Dr. Ben Carson at 10, Ted Cruz and John Kasich at 9, with Jeb Bush at 8 and Chris Christie at 4.
Gov. Kasich was again on national TV Sunday, where he made another of his famous declaratory statements. This was aimed at Donald Trump, the target Gov. Kasich is lashing out at of late. “Trump will not be the nominee,” he said on ABC News today. “It’s just not going to happen. Everybody needs to get over it.”
People aren’t getting over it, in fact, and attacks by career, establishment performance politicians like John Kasich are driving certain quarters to embrace Donald Trump all the more. His rough edges play both ways, but they are secondary to his base of supporters.
At RealClearPolitics [RCP], a right of center stable of news that features a good listing of relevant polling, Gov. Kasich isn’t making many new friends.
“You mean like everyone has gotten over you, John? What an extremely obnoxious man Kasich is. If he had not run for the WH, he might have lived out his life without everyone seeing what an idiot he is,” one poster said bluntly about Mr. Kasich’s patented style designed to abuse.
Another poster said, this: “I am not a Trump fan not at all. Couple months ago I was kind of interested in Kasich – mostly as a VP to get electoral votes But after his most recent debates and need to go after other republicans I find that I really can’t stomach this guy.”
“If I hear again about what he did in Ohio or when he was in congress I think I will scream,” said another commenter on Kasich’s penchant to rub everyone who isn’t on his payroll the wrong way.
“I have come to really dislike this guy……..again, who cares what someone at roughly 4-5% thinks? I agree with Trump here when he says Kasich needs to get out and go run his state. This next debate is going to be a all guns pointed at Trump situation and I fully expect Kasich here to be one of the first to fire,” said another visitor to RCP.
Kasich Team Builds
Camp Kasich is betting its future on building up a network of political helpers at the local level, where minor shifts can perturb election results. Barely mereting two congressional districts, New Hampshire’s voting rules that allow cross over voting is prized territory for Ohio’s term-limited chief executive. Accordingly, Camp Kasich has lots to announce, as reported by New Hampshire Union Leader reporter Dan Tuohy, on team building by the governor’s campaign machine in the Granite State.
“THE NORTH COUNTRY remains a focus for numerous presidential candidates. Count Ohio Gov. John Kasich among them. The Republican presidential hopeful just announced some notable North Country leaders were joining his campaign. Former state Sen. Fred King of Colebrook, is now a state co-chairman. Berlin Police Chief Peter Morency was added to the steering committee and serves as Berlin city chairman. Other endorsements around the state Wednesday, and town and ward chairs: Shane McKinney of Albany, Todd Haywood of Ward 10 in Concord, Kevin Chalbeck of Deerfield, Kevin and Jessica MacMaster of Fremont, Bill Harmon of Hollis, Don Winterton and Tom Prasol of Hooksett, Earl Strout of Lyme, and Dino Scala of Wakefield.”