A year ago, when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie served as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, stumping for Republicans across the nation, he and Ohio Gov. John Kasich were bosom buddies.
They saw themselves as reflections of each other. Mr. Christie and Mr. Kasich, who have been elected twice by their state’s voters, have little if any daylight between them on virtually any issue of the day, from advocating for lower taxes and less government regulation to hounding teacher unions and gutting public pension plans, among many other topics.
Christie No Longer Loving Kasich
But now that each is struggling to keep their respective heads above polling waters, nationally and in early primary states that show them in low single digits, the love between them, once so prominent, apparently is waning as the two combative governor’s find ways to differentiate themselves from the large field of 14 GOP candidates who are lumbering forward to the start of primary season in about three months away.
Iowa caucuses vote on Feb. 1 with New Hampshire voters going to the polls a week later.
Polling results found at Real Clear Politics show that in the latest ABC/Washington Post national poll, the Laurel-and-Hardy duo of state chief executives are bottom dwellers with Kasich polling at 3 percent and Christie at 2 percent.
In a Fox News national poll, its the reverse with Christie at 3 percent and Kasich at 2 percent. Their best scores come in New Hampshire, the small, libertarian state where voters can cross over in primary elections.
Having virtually moved to the Granite State, John Kasich has his best showing in a Boston Globe/Suffolk state poll where he ties Ted Cruz for fourth place with 9 percent. As for Christie, he’s in seventh place with 4 percent.
Being governor in a state he euphemistically called “spirited, but unruly” because it has a Democratic legislature, Gov. Christie said he was more qualified for the Oval Office than fellow candidates governors Jeb Bush of Florida and John Kasich of Ohio. Christie made the determination based on the so-called compromises he has made during his time in office. ”
“I’ve been tested more than anyone else in this race I like (Bush and Kasich), and if I thought they were better than I am, I would support them. But I don’t,” he said,” according to published reports.
Christie Pans Kasich’s New ‘Judeo-Christian’ Agency
Gov. Kasich tried to play another unconventional card last week when he proposed the creation under Kasich Administration of a new agency to impose “the core Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share.” Mr. Kasich told a crowd in Washington D.C. that he would target China, Iran, Russia and the Middle East.
Speaking to Jake Tapper of ABC News on Sunday, Gov. Christie said Kasich’s idea for more government is a bad one.
John Kasich likes to think he’s the candidate Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, worry about most. But Chris Christie said he, not the perpetually angry Ohio governor, is the real dragon slayer. In New Hampshire, Gov. Christie, whose support among Garden State voters has dropped precipitously, said again that he would be the GOP’s “best bet to effectively take on presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“…this is not the election to send a message, but to nominate the most tested and ready candidate with executive experience,” Christie said.