Christie rises to number two spot at Republican Governors Association
September 7th, 2011
08:50 AM ET
7 years ago

Christie rises to number two spot at Republican Governors Association

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) – He's not running for president, but Chris Christie is stepping up his political activity on the national stage.

The New Jersey governor, one of the most popular elected officials within the GOP, has been tapped by his peers to serve as Vice Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, CNN has learned.

Christie now becomes one of the top two figures at the RGA, under Chairman Bob McDonnell, the governor of Virginia.

As one of the GOP's most in-demand speakers, Christie is set to travel the country raising money for the organization, helping him boost his profile among donors and activists nationwide as he and McDonnell seek to elect Republican governors during the 2011 and 2012 election cycles.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, another leading figure among conservatives thanks to his crusade against public sector unions in Madison earlier this year, has been elevated to the RGA's executive committee, the main decision-making body within the organization.

RGA Executive Director Phil Cox called both governors "effective reform-minded governors" and "strong voices for our party and for our principles."

With the promotions of Christie and Walker, the list of RGA chairmen and executive committee members now reads like a who's-who of possible vice presidential candidates and potential 2016 White House hopefuls.

McDonnell and Christie are both sure bets for vice presidential shortlists in 2012, as is Walker.

Also serving on the RGA executive committee are Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

The Democratic Governors quickly criticized the Christie choice.

“The RGA’s decision to name Governor Christie as their Vice Chair shows that they care more about tough-guy rhetoric and YouTube hits than actual results. Let’s look at the facts. Since becoming governor, Christie has made devastating cuts to schools, raised property taxes, killed thousands of jobs with his opposition to the ARC tunnel, and even forced a downgrade of his state’s bond rating," DGA Spokeswoman Elisabeth Smith said in a statement. "His shtick may make for good copy, but it has had dire consequences for the people of New Jersey.”

Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Chris Christie • RGA
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Squigman

    Why is this news? Where does this have a position in the long list of problems we face daily? RED HERRING.

    September 7, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine


    "Bringing the benefits packages of government employees in line with those of the private sector makes sense and is fiscally responsible."

    According to whom? Does it make sense to break agreements that were negotiated in good faith? New York managed significant cuts without the lies and deception Christie resorted to, and Cuomo's approval ratings are over 60%, even amongst Republicans. Christie used the line item veto to kill items he agreed to in his negotiations, then implemented a vastly differnet package from what he negotiated. No one is whining because they " caught with their hands in the cookie jar": they are angry because they were lied to. BTW, they do pay for those benefits, by putting up with an indifferent public and working ( for the most part) like dogs. He was elected with a plurality, and his popularity has not budged beyond that: he will lose. BTW, why are the wealthy in NJ victims?

    September 7, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Seattle Sue

    Looks like Christie is big enough to cover this job well.

    September 7, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Mark G

    Governor Christie is one of the few politicians who actually delivered on his campaign promises. Achieving public workers benefits overhaul, and forcing union members to pay for healthcare costs just like every one else does? Check. Capping property tax growth at 2.5%? Check. Preventing a heiniously expensive train project that mostly benefits lazy, inefficient, overpaid unions from taking place? Check.

    Too bad he is not running for President – I would've certainly voted for him. Now I am stuck between the Mr. ObamaCare and right-wing loonies. Great..

    September 7, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Will

    I live in NJ. My property taxes keep climbing. Christie did NOT lower taxes. He killed off the ARC Tunnel despite the fact that he was completely unable to grasp the most basic design concepts of the plan – he kept claiming the proposed station "was in Macy's basement". We are on the hook not only for the Federal money we have to repay, but the legal fees he's spent fighting itHe went after the teacher's Union, pretty much placing the blame for all the State's financial woes on them. Months later the "problem" seems to have gone away – the teacher's union is no longer the villian. Christie has promised hundreds of millions in "tax breaks" (meaning lost revenue to the State), to build the Xanadu/American Dream Mall than no one wants or needs. Hundred of millions more poured in to the black hole of Atlantic City when the city is clearly dying and yet he steadfastly refuses to allow full casinos in the Meadowlands. Seriously – the man has done NOTHING to improve the lives of the average person in the State. If you are wealth or a corporation you have done real well on his policies. I would love to see him leave the State before he does anymore damage. The scary thing is if he were to head to Washington – imagine the mess he could make there...

    September 7, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. Moe Green

    Christie has done nothing to generate jobs in this state. Not a single job. Instead, he successfully branded teachers criminals eliminated police overtime in the roughest cities in the state, and further widened the wealth gap. He has also done nothing to attract new business... There is a lot of hot air under that fat...

    September 7, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. TEA PARTY Mike

    @ The Real Tom Paine

    You are correct, there have been guilty parties on both sides of uncivil expression.
    My main point is that Obama gave a political speech calling for an more civil discourse on both sides. But it is clear now he did not mean it. Carney said yesterday that Obama is not responsible for what Hoffa or anyone else says. Yet Obama seemed very concerned in the past about speech from the right. When Carney was pressed on, in light of the fact Obama was not to be held responsible for the speech of Hoffa at an event he also spoke at, if it would also then be true that Republicans should not be held responsible for anything said by others at any event they might speak at. Carney had nothing to say. So the bottom line is Obama nor anyone else on the left is going to call out those on the left that use uncivil speech and so no one on the right should be expected to call out anyone on the right who does the same. And we can all just stop pretending that Obama's speech calling for more civility was anything more than a politically expedient show to bolster his own image.

    September 7, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Thank you to The Real Tom Paine for addressing these ignorant posts (coastlinecascot and

    Christie is OVERWEIGHT and nothing GOOD can ever come of that. Period.

    September 7, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Tom J

    @The Real Tom Paine

    You are right, they do work like dogs. My dogs sleep all day and only get up to relieve themselves and eat. That's not far from the average NJ public servant's workday.

    September 7, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  10. rkt210

    Yeah, Will, maybe he would teach Washington not to spend more than they bring in – imagine that! Sorry about your property taxes, but mine went down almost $1000. I'm glad he killed the tunnel. It was the right move for New Jersey. Its primary benefit was to New York, but New Jersey was on the hook for the cost overruns which were sure to happen. It looks like the Feds will not make us pay after all, but even if we do, a couple of hundred million is better than a few billion. You say he's done nothing to improve the lives of the average person in New Jersey, but I contend that you can't look beyond the present. Reining in costs is what needed to be done, but no politician has had the guts to do it because is costs the votes of those who have come to enjoy the bloated state entitlement programs. It is unpopular to cut near-term benefits in order to ensure long-term stability, but that's what he has done. It is of benefit to all New Jerseyans, even if you don't see it because you can't think that far ahead.

    September 7, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Everybody here dissing Gov. Christie obviously can't balance a checkbook."

    Neither can he. He cut taxes and then claimed the deficit it caused required cutting programs. That's the equivalent of what the GOP did on the national level by enacting the Bush tax cuts, waiting for it to cause a massive deficit and then arguing that it's all the sudden necessary to cut all gov't programsand spending that benefit the middle-class instead of the wealthy and corporations.

    Why don't you try an experiment. GO to work tomorrow, tell your boss that he can cut your salary and then waltz on home to inform your wife that you're taking away her "excessive spending" to the extent your reduced salary creates a household budget deficit. Let us know how that works out for you.

    September 7, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Yeah, Will, maybe he would teach Washington not to spend more than they bring in "

    Or how about teaching Washington not to cut their revenue BEFORE cutting the spending such that it creates a mnassive deficit and debt problem? THAT is what happened. This isn't about spending more than we were taking in. We started with a surplus as of 2000. From there it was, cut taxes, hand out the suprlus to the rich and corporations, borrow money for two wars and hide the expenses off the books, then magically pretend that it was all somehow the "spending" that caused the problems. That is the objective FACT of how this all came about and it's freekin disgusting that CNN and the rest of the MSM pretends anyone who says otherwise is presenting an equally legitimate "opinion" or "argument" or "position." There's no argument to be had here. Revenue was eviscerated, a surplus was squandered a decade was borrowed away and suddenly when the people who did it lose control over the country, they throw a massive hissy fit claiming that it's the spending, not the evisceration of revenue, that caused the problems that piled up over the past decade. The US is officially the stupidest freekin country on this miserable planet.

    September 7, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Mark G


    Couldn't possibily agree more.

    September 7, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. George Corra

    i hate christie he's a idiot and should join george w bush and herbert hoover

    September 7, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. rjb752nj

    I live in New Jersey. I also am a registered democrat. If the most you can contribute to this story are sophmoric barbs about this man's weight then please go play on Twitter or Facebook or some other equally asinine website. You are embarrassing the rest of us democrats. The ones who are posting facts about why they disagree with this man's policies. And let me save you some time before you go from sophmoric back to middle school: No. I am not overweight.

    September 7, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. Texas Doc

    I liked him in those Austin Powers movies.

    September 7, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. Chuck in NJ

    There are a lot of people posting here that are not from NJ but seem to be an expert on Governor Christie. I have lived here over 50 years and he is the best governor we have ever had. He does have his faults ( a bit off the cuff) but this state was dead broke and yet the unions wanted more. He has put a stop to reckless spending of money we don't have. You don't have to love him, but most people here admire him.

    September 7, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. Outdoor Girl

    Sorry, but I think that the Governor's health is a strong barrier against furthering his political career. He's liable to keel over anytime; his heart, lungs, kidneys and so on must be working triple overtime to keep him upright.

    September 7, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. Maine LIberal

    for those critical of Hoffa read it in context not in fox-text

    he didnt say GUN or lock and load or gun sights he said VOTE to take them out

    September 7, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. Tom-53

    After reading the article about Gov. Christie getting that new job, I had an instant opinion, based on how I'd feel about it if my governor took such a position. I wanted to find out how *other* people feel about it, so I decided I should read through the comments. I'm sorry to have to say that I should have saved my time. The partisan Washington politics people claim to decry are virtually the only thing here, not a rational discourse on Christie's new job.

    Right wingers are demonstrating through their comments that they hate liberals, who in turn loathe conservatives. Oh. There's a big piece of news. But most of the comments are sticking to that topic instead of the topic in the article.

    Speaking of big news, did anybody notice Gov. Christie's size? Oh, yeah, they did. A LOT of people decided that is the only topic here; I kinda see it as pointless. Added to its pointlessness, I teach, and picking on a student for being fat is not tolerated; it's *bullying*, and other students can get expelled for it. Do you know if he has or hasn't a medically-based condition giving him weight issues? Me, either.

    I think how well he did/does his job as governor of NJ is a matter (mostly) between him and the voters of his state. My concern is his *new* job, and how I feel about it.

    If my governor were to take any such job, I would be right there in the group demanding recall or resignation. Did the voters of NJ elect the man to do the job he was just given by the RGA? Or to be the chief executive of their state? Just sayin'.

    September 7, 2011 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  21. Luke Brown

    "He is too liberal" – The Tea Party

    September 7, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  22. Paul Ernest Show

    Really! I thought he has already risen. In fact, I thought he is the biggest governor of them all.

    September 7, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  23. Donkey Party

    By the way, there wasn't a thing wrong with what Hoffa said. The only reason the right-wingers don't like it is because it's the same language normally reserved by them against Democrats.

    September 7, 2011 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  24. independent

    He may be popular in the Republican Party, I mean the GOTParty, but not in his home state.
    'Chris Christie’s approval rating has dropped, according to a new Bloomberg poll, with more than half of New Jersey residents now saying they wouldn’t support his reelection.'

    September 7, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  25. Tony in Maine

    Just what the world needs, another phony tough guy.

    September 8, 2011 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
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