Are Bully Tactics Favored By New Hampshire Voters?
It comes as no surprise that I am predicting Chris Christie is now on the last day of his campaign for the Republican nomination. Following the votes cast on Tuesday the New Jersey pol will go back home and not be heard of again until allowed a speaking role at the GOP convention.
One of the reasons Christie will become a footnote in the story of this election cycle is due to his character flaw. More to the point he is a bully, and no one likes that type of a person. That is not the sort voters want to see every night on the news from the Oval Office.
The reason Christie has upped the nasty is due to his internal polling showing there is no way out of the pit he is in. The only thing left is head for the gutter.
But when Christie talks about everybody else, he sounds like the race’s belittling schoolyard tough guy. He’s promised to “kick [President Obama’s] rear end out of the White House” and to “beat [Clinton’s] rear end.” Then, in Saturday night’s Republican debate, Christie laid into Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for using canned talking points, rattling Rubio so badly that he used the same talking points again. And then again.
“Everybody’s got a plan until you get punched in the face,” Christie said.
Christie said Sunday that the rough rhetoric was something he’d planned all along.
“You all are the junior political analysts here. I do this for a living. I picked when I want to do it,” Christie said in a news conference after reporters questioned why he had waited so late to take on Rubio. “I had a strategy all along.”
If that’s true, then Christie was following an especially daring strategy. It required him to spend more than 60 days campaigning in New Hampshire, fall into sixth place here, then — with first place seemingly out of reach — unleash a last-minute barrage aimed at the second-place candidate.
When a reporter asked if Christie would drop out if he lost in New Hampshire, Christie’s braggadocio dropped a little. His response was, in effect, that it depends on what you mean by losing.
Indeed, Christie’s advisers seemed to be hoping merely for a finish in the top tier, so Christie can go on to South Carolina — but that’s a place where he is not projected to do well.