I know I’ll catch some flack for this, Governor Christie, but if you’re serious about running for (or, since we’re “telling it like it is,” walking briskly in the general direction of) the Oval Office, you need to focus some of that “brutal honesty” a bit closer to home. 55% of Republican primary voters say there is “no way” they’d ever support your waddle to the White House. The only person they like less? Donald Trump.
You’re gonna need a surge larger than the one Sandy deposited on the Jersey shores. You can camp out all next week in New Hampshire, holding one town hall meeting after another, but there are two things you can’t run from, Chris: your record and your judgment. Here’s the truth, governor — you’re not the least popular guy in the race because you’re “too blunt and too direct.” You could cause massive traffic jams and yell at teachers and be a belligerent jerk if any of that noise actually helped your state. But the swagger is just a pose.
You’ve got the same problem Scott Walker does — you’re so busy running for president, you’re not running your state. Walker’s favorability in Wisconsin is as low as it’s ever been — but he’s STILL more popular than you are in New Jersey. This obnoxious notion that America needs you to share some uncomfortable truths with is the very worst campaign platform I’ve ever heard. And it presupposes you have even a passing acquaintance with the truth — which we all know you don’t.
Ask any employee of the state of New Jersey who believed you when you told them their pensions were “sacred”to you — you’re a liar. Nowadays, as you boast to audiences about your record of “pension reforms,” claiming a recent court decision which found your actions unconstitutional was a “victory” — it just proves you’re a liar. It wasn’t enough to snarl traffic for a week at the George Washington bridge in some sophomoric, penny-ante political payback — no, then you had to lie about that, too. Blind-sided?
You were Johnny-on-the-spot when the Commander in Chief came calling in Marine One to survey the storm damage. We already have “strength and decision-making and authority … in the Oval Office,” Chris. What we don’t need is some puffed-up liar, who thinks we need his version of the “truth,” even if “it makes you cringe every once in a while.” Seriously — this is the single worst campaign strategy in the history of forever.
Roads and bridges are falling further into disrepair — the state’s Transportation Trust Fund is in dire straits (and will soon only be able to service it’s debt) — “pay-as-you-go” went bust — and you’re basically overseeing a “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” fiscal mess, Governor Wimpy. Shifting around Port Authority money and stealing quarters from the Turnpike tolls isn’t any kind of solution. And yet all of that pales in comparison to the decades of transportation ills you caused the entire region when you pulled New Jersey out of the ARC project.
Let’s tick off your “accomplishments” to tout on the campaign trail: New Jersey’s 6.5 percent unemployment rate is worse than the national average — check. Long term unemployment worse than 48 other states? Check. Moody’s just dinged New Jersey’s credit rating again (for the NINTH time). Check. Withholding $2.4 billion in pension payments? Check. Vetoed reform of the Port Authority? Check. Wasted billions in tax giveaways — and now faced with a billion dollar budget shortfall? Double-check. Property taxes through the roof — an increased tax burden on New Jersey’s working poor — and a VETO on a minimum wage bill (which would have increased the state’s rate to a measly $8.50). Check, check, check.
The ONLY good thing about this campaign is the Twitter hashtag “telling it like it is.” That backfired in spectacular fashion (although I’m sure Piyush is relieved. Fewer people will #AskBobby why he’s named after a kid from The Brady Bunch. True story!)
#TellingItLikeItIs isn’t something Christie does. | Christie admin funneled taxpayer cash to the firms of Christie’s wife & brother is #TellingItLikeItIs. | Trending now: Governor Christie, who isn’t usually #TellingItLikeItIs. | Only in America can you be elected president of America. Good point, Chris Christie — that’s #TellingItLikeItIs. | Chris Christie lies with conviction — his hands don’t shake, and his eyes don’t wander. #TellingItLikeItIs
Seriously — a campaign is built on policies — not threats: “You’re gonna get what I think, whether you like it or not.” Kudos on using a public school as a backdrop for the rally/announcement — after slashing funding for public education and derailing teacher pensions — any more salt for the thousand paper cuts they’ve already had to endure? My favorite bit was when you coughed up that clichéd nonsense about how “the truth will set us free, everybody.” That was the exact moment I fully expected your trousers to spontaneously combust. Hey — I’m just #TellingItLikeItIs, Chris.