February 21st, 2014
10:19 AM ET
9 months ago

Chris Christie: The $18 million man

Washington (CNN) - It appears the controversies New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's dealing with back in the Garden State haven't affected his standing as one of the GOP's most potent fundraising rainmakers.

As Christie convenes two days of Republican Governors Association meetings here in the nation's capital Friday and Saturday, an RGA official tells CNN that the group has raised $18 million since Christie took over as RGA chairman in late November. That's a new fundraising record for the first three months of a new RGA chairman's tenure. The previous record holder was then-Mississippi Gov. Haley Barber, who chaired the RGA from June 2009 through the end of 2010.

Christie's chairmanship of the RGA was seen as a possible stepping stone to a potential 2016 bid for the GOP presidential nomination. But six weeks into his tenure as RGA chairman, the bridge controversy went viral. State lawmakers and the U.S. Attorney's Office are looking into allegations that top Christie appointees orchestrated traffic jams last September by closing access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee to politically punish that town's mayor for not endorsing the governor's re-election.

Christie blasts Washington on Sandy aid; bridge scandal doesn't come up

Christie has denied knowing anything about the gridlock until after it occurred, and has said he knew nothing about any political mischief by members of his administration. He's also facing allegations by the Democratic mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, that members of his administration held Superstorm Sandy recovery funds hostage in exchange for approval of a real estate development project in that city.

Christie to headline fundraiser in Atlanta with Gov. Deal

The Friday meeting of the RGA executive committee and the wider event Saturday including all the attending Republican governors marks the first time Christie will meet with his peers since the multiple controversies shook his political future.

Christie passes on Sunday night dinner at the White House

But the $18 million in RGA fundraising should allay any concerns by any of the other governors.

"Christie remains popular among Republicans, many of whom see the attacks on him as partisan efforts to destroy a popular GOPer. That's why he remains a formidable fundraiser for the RGA and an asset to his party," Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, told CNN.

Republicans are defending 22 of the 36 gubernatorial seats up for grabs this November.

Christie says he can't 'let go' of Springsteen, talks about weight loss


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey • RGA • Washington D.C.
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Why should it slow things down. You have a proven bully and a corrupt politician. Of course he'll be back with enthusiasm by the GOP supporters. How else do you get the 12% tax rate for millionaires and billionaires?

    February 21, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. just asking

    Sniffit
    -–
    "did you believe obama when he said the same thing, at least 10 times?
    -–
    Analogy fail.
    -–

    wow!! i was so expecting your usual false equivalency response. but you surprise me now with a new phrase to simply dismiss statement of fact. who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?!

    February 21, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ tom l
    Yes I did tom. I was quite happy that that little misundertanding got ironed out between us.
    I never, ever thought that you held something as strong as hate in your heart for me, but I appreciate you feeling the need to make sure that I knew that.
    As I stated that day, you and I actually have some poltical commonality if only because I do believe that we are both decent human beings.
    I know we will continue to bump heads though tom l and that's okay too.
    May I gently suggest that you pay extra attention to your reading comprehension. I mean that most respectfully tom. Sometimes you miss the gist of what's being said which makes you go left while the other person is going right.
    I on my end will try to tamper down my enthusiasm for our current POTUS......naaaah!!! LOL!
    Thanks again tom and I hope that you're enjoying your Friday as well.
    Be well.

    February 21, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. Steve

    18 Million in twinkies?

    February 21, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    So let me get this straight, Lynda. You are a grandmother. Let's say your daughter (or son) takes their spouse on a vacation to Europe while they are pregnant. Your new grandchild happens to be born in England. You're totally cool telling your grandchild the following: "I'm sorry, but because you were born in England you can't grow up to be president." You would never want to have that conversation and you would find it incredibly inane. I would hope you would see that your grandchild could be president. I would hope you would recognize that Ted Cruz's mother is American and he could be president too. How have you become so incredibly partisan that you don't recognize that?
    ---------------------------–
    Cruz' problem is that he has never applied for U.S. citizenship. That's why he went on that "I'm automatically a citizen" tour last year. He wants to say that his U.S. citizenship has long been established. It hasn't.

    When you're born in a foreign country, guess what happens in America? Nothing. Your birth records simply don't exist anywhere in U.S. records. If you want U.S. citizenship, then you must apply for it, and THEN it will be automatically granted. Ted Cruz has made no secret that he's never gone through that process. He's ineligible to POTUS for at least 14 years from today.

    February 21, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Old white conservative male

    Rudy NYC

    Mr. Richard Feder
    Because he can raise money it must mean he's not lying or guilty of any of the allegations? What a country.
    ---------––
    Actually, you get most rewarded when you're inarguablely guilty, and can get away with it.
    ----------
    Sorry Rudy but Obama is not bringing in that kind of money so you must be wrong in your thinking. Nothing new there.

    February 21, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. critical thinking

    "Yeah, the difference: there was documentary evidence suggesting Christie knew"
    -----------------------------------------

    Really, where is it? Show to us all, we are waiting on ACTUAL PROOF, so please enlighten all of us with real evidence that he knew.....I suspect that all we will hear are crickets....

    February 21, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. rudycantsail

    Glad he isn't from the UK... Chris Christie: The 18 million pound man

    February 21, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Tony D

    Paul - You have a proven bully and a corrupt politician.
    --

    Sorry, but a real bully promises you can keep your healthcare, then takes it away, even from sick people that need it.

    February 21, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Mercfan from NJ

    It's so nice that we reelected him so he could spend 75% of his time OUTSIDE NJ to raise money for the Republican Gov's. This has nothing to do with the business of running the state. Gov is a full time job but apparently he's comfortable delegating everything and we all know how that turned out. If he doesn't know what his staff is up to, he needs to spend more time in the state. This is exactly what many voters were afraid of, as soon as he won this election that he would be out fundraising and start campaigning for the White House in 2016. He has a history of doing this. When he ran for County Freeholder in my county, a month after he won that seat, he started a campaign for State Assembly.

    February 21, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "but you surprise me now with a new phrase to simply dismiss statement of fact"

    The fact that Obama said something similar does not make the analogy accurate. In fact, it just highlights the differences. The circumstances in Christie's situation are far worse and involve clear documentary evidence tying this to people whose offices were all of 20 feet from his all day long, people in his closest inner circle. Whereas with Obama, the GOP/Teatrolls' desperate attempts to try to use the WH visitor logs couldn't even put Obama in the same room with people because those logs actually provided evidence that the visits were elsewhere and with other people on the "campus."

    February 21, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "You're totally cool telling your grandchild the following: "I'm sorry, but because you were born in England you can't grow up to be president." You would never want to have that conversation and you would find it incredibly inane."

    Between you and I, tom ... shall we agree that I am fully capable of being "totally cool" with what I tell my grandchildren using my own words; and unless I choose to repeat conversations I have with them, we agree to leave my grandchildren out of our political conversations?

    February 21, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "You mean he knew when it was happening and/or after it happened. There is NOHTING that says he knew about it before it happened."

    Sure there is. It's not a stretch to believe that Christie knew what Stepien, Kelly and Wildstein were up to. The first two were his closest aides. Their office was 20 feet from his. They were stapled together at the hip day in and day out. Kelly's email about "time for some traffic problems" was answered with "Got it" as though this had all been thoroughly discussed and everyone knew their marching orders such that all it required was flipping the switch. is there a smoking gun? No. But there is certainly enough from which to draw an allowable inference.

    February 21, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Pam from Iowa

    No surprise there!
    The GOP is all for and about corruption and deceit !

    February 21, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Steve miller

    listen to all the liberal name-calling....and Ted Nugent apologizes? Who's the 'better man'.

    February 21, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. just asking

    Sniffit
    --
    "but you surprise me now with a new phrase to simply dismiss statement of fact"
    -–
    The fact that Obama said something similar does not make the analogy accurate. In fact, it just highlights the differences. The circumstances in Christie's situation are far worse and involve clear documentary evidence tying this to people whose offices were all of 20 feet from his all day long, people in his closest inner circle. Whereas with Obama, the GOP/Teatrolls' desperate attempts to try to use the WH visitor logs couldn't even put Obama in the same room with people because those logs actually provided evidence that the visits were elsewhere and with other people on the "campus."
    --

    yeah, so what? you are admitting there is zero evidence tying christie to any wrong doing. you claim to be a lawyer, which i find hard to believe. did they teach guilt by office proximity when you studied law? or are you concocting something new to rival the insane 'affluenza' defense?

    February 21, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Malory Archer

    Tony D

    Paul – You have a proven bully and a corrupt politician.
    -

    Sorry, but a real bully promises you can keep your healthcare, then takes it away, even from sick people that need it.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Right on Tony! Insurance compaines ARE bullies who should be put in their places with single payer!

    February 21, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    When you're born in a foreign country, guess what happens in America? Nothing. Your birth records simply don't exist anywhere in U.S. records. If you want U.S. citizenship, then you must apply for it, and THEN it will be automatically granted. Ted Cruz has made no secret that he's never gone through that process.
    -------------------------------------------------
    That is correct.
    Turd Cruz was NOT born in the US he will therefore apply for his citizenship (if and when he does) claiming US citizenship through his mother who was born in the US.
    It is interesting for many of us voters to note that the Birthers, and their supporters have gone completely mute on the issue of Turd Cruz's citizenship as it pertains to his, or more than likely his handlers, presidential aspirations.
    Interesting but not surprising.

    February 21, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. robjh1

    No wonder good people stay out of politics.

    February 21, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "you are admitting there is zero evidence tying christie to any wrong doing."

    No I'm not. I just said there is evidence. Circumstantial evidence is still evidence and it's still enough to "convict." A smoking gun is not an absolute prerequisite. Will the DOJ or whoever bring charges based solely on circumstantial evidence in a situation like this? Almost certainly not, particularly because of the political implications. However, the investigation's not over...and the stuff that keeps coming out is not helping Christie (or the rest of these idiots) at all. He puts on a good show though, which I guess is what the $650/hour the people are paying for his lawyers is paying for...after all, the attorney's specialty is "crisis management"...you know, things like choosing a town for a town hall meeting based on it being over an hour from the bridge and having a high concentration of upper class financial industry workers who most certainly do not drive to NYC for work (or if they do, take the tunnel). They even confiscated some old woman's "Resign Christie" signs and told her to leave.

    February 21, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. David Scott

    steve miller... what an ignorant gop punk!

    February 21, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    tom l said to Lynda:
    "How have you become so incredibly partisan that you don't recognize that?"

    Lynda MInnesota stated:
    I have no idea where you are going with this comment. I was simply reminding you that President Obama was in fact born on American soil (which you neglected to state in your comment).
    -------------------------------------------------
    tom l , I believe the point that Lynda was making is that President Obama was born in the US; therefore, his mother being an American citizen is nice, but irrelevant.
    There is no need to have a discussion about President Obama's mother's citizenship because.....President Obama was born in the US.
    Additionally tom l, the charge of partisanship that you have leveled at Lynda is undeserved and uninformed.
    Lynda has been a Republican all of her life.
    She just happens to be one of a huge growing number of disenchanted Republicans that don't know what in the hell has happened to their Party.

    February 21, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. NJChump

    So the RNC sends their mafia heavy out to collect. Extortion pays well. Notice the shaky handwriting on the checks.

    February 21, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    somebody wrote:

    "Actually, you get most rewarded when you're inarguablely guilty, and can get away with it."

    Sorry Rudy but Obama is not bringing in that kind of money so you must be wrong in your thinking. Nothing new there.
    ------------------------------
    Good point. Barack Obama is not very popular with the big conservative donors who reward bad behavior.

    February 21, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. Jme

    The DNC tried it's best to destroy the man but failed. Don't worry libies they will be giving it another shot.

    February 21, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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