Christie: Iowans 'love' me
March 27th, 2014
07:58 PM ET
7 months ago

Christie: Iowans 'love' me

(CNN) - Chris Christie thinks Iowans aren't tired by the bumper crop of questions circling his political future.

In fact, he says Hawkeye State voters like him almost as much as corn dogs at the state fair.

"I think they love me in Iowa, too," Christie told ABC News' Dianne Sawyer in an exclusive interview that aired Thursday evening.

While the New Jersey governor's very public tussle with the question of running for president in 2016 moves toward an answer as slow as molasses in January, the Republican name-checked the early voting state as a potential building block for a would-be campaign.

"I've been there a lot," Christie said of the state. "I think they love me there, too, especially because of the way I am."

Christie has come under fire over a political scandal roiling his administration.

State legislative and federal investigators are looking at whether traffic jams were orchestrated by top appointees near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee last year as political retribution against the town's Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie for reelection.

A report released on Thursday by a team of private lawyers hired by Christie's office to scrutinize the issue cleared him of having any knowledge of the matter until after it all occurred, a point the governor has made previously.

But the saga has called into question his sometimes brash leadership style that helped propel his rise to national prominence.

Despite the governor's insistence that Iowa voters "love" him, Christie's stock in the state has slipped during the fallout from the bridge imbroglio that has engulfed several top appointees.

A Des Moines Register poll from earlier this month indicated 57% of Iowans disapprove of the way Christie handled the scandal. Republicans in the state were not much kinder to the potential candidate: 47% said the New Jersey governor's response was lacking.

Christie's stock has also fallen in relation to one potential 2016 rival.

A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month showed Christie trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 48% to 35%, among Iowa voters, a dramatic shift from when the New Jersey governor led the Democrat and potential White House candidate by 5 points in a December poll.

Thus far, Christie, who helms the Republican Governor's Association - a powerful fundraising arm - has skipped stopping in Iowa to campaign with Gov. Terry Branstad.

Running for a record sixth-term, Branstad backed Christie amid calls for New Jersey's chief executive to resign his post as RGA chair over the scandal.

But the longtime Iowa pol predicted that winning over voters in his state, who kick off the caucus and primary calendar, could be tough tomatoes for Christie.

"Wouldn't hurt to be a little more humble," Branstad told the Los Angeles Times in February. "Iowans really like their leaders to be hard-working and humble."

Still, Christie insisted again, like he did on Wednesday night on his "Ask the Governor" radio program, that the impasse for his administration will not weigh on his decision about 2016.

"I don't intend to make a discussion about 2016 until a year from now," Christie said. "But it won't have anything to do with what has happened in the past 10 weeks."

"What has happened in last 10 weeks, I think will ultimately make me a better leader, whether it's governor of New Jersey or any other job I might take in the public or private sector," he added.


Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Boo

    Hey Chris – arrogant much?

    March 28, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Jason

    We all know what Chis Christy is ....then again we also know the IQ of the average Republican has never been greater than the sum of digits in your room temperature.

    March 28, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. mike trottier

    Someone said,..."Christie looks like he's 'LOST' about 100#",........tell Christie to put his hand into his back pocket and squeeeeeze,...he'll find it!

    March 28, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. a new jersey resident

    you know what Christie. Go to Iowa and stay there, until you wear out your welcome with your vindictive stupidity. They deserve you just as much as you deserve to be exiled there. you have done nothing for this state except make it look like a playground for dirty politics and petty slander. You have shamed this state worse than any toxic waste dump could have. and if you really think it wasn't your own party trying to ruin you to get you out of the way for their right wing facist tea party ideaolgs your are stupider than you look. Go away and leave NJ to the Housewives, you are worse than Snookie and the those other scum.

    March 28, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Anthony Ames

    People on the East Coast don 't care how corrupt their elected officials are as long as they're smart. Here in Iowa we don't care how dumb they are as long as they're honest. Just a regional difference in priorities.

    March 28, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. jen

    Hmmmm. I just moved to Iowa less than a year ago. Politics crazy state. However, I haven't heard literally one word spoken about Christy. He's not "loved" here- they've moved on a long time ago.

    March 28, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Swedge70

    "Well, I thoroughly investigated myself, and came to the conclusion that I did nothing wrong. Case closed!"

    March 28, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. John

    Lucky for him there are no bridges to mess with in Iowa. Now, just try some shenanigans with corn and, watch out!

    March 28, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. 2 Km N of G Zero

    Will this be important in 2016? I mean, really, apart from self-righteous blather about how it somehow demonstrates unfitness for the highest and most noble office in the land yadda yadda. The Democrats had Dubbya for 8 years, the GOP has Obama for 8 years, is anybody really expecting somebody other than Satan incarnate at this point?

    March 28, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. roger

    Keep trying Democrats. If you can't find something wrong with Christie make something up. Hand this problem over to Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. They are excellent story tellers and liars. Watch out Hillary. He's gonna get you.

    March 28, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Iowa Boy

    No, we don't.

    March 28, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. MATH

    Really, I don't think the smugness and cynical sarcasm, and the vindictiveness (on a recent NJ radio show, he gave the full name of someone I know, a restaurant owner and criticized her on air) will translate well into midwestern politics. Years ago, I covered politics as a reporter and I don't remember anyone being so *consistently* mean-spirited and public about it, even in New Jersey. You're always proudest of your own legend, but that doesn't mean everyone is entertained by the story or the ending. ( I am an independent, worked for a Republican legislator. So this is not partisan,)
    it's reality.

    March 28, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. Charlie

    The guy is all show and no go. Christie has destroyed the recovery in Jersey, sent already excessive property taxes soaring beyond homeowners' ability to pay, stolen a billion dollars from approved school budgets to fund a tax rollback for households with incomes of $400,000 plus, degraded public education, degraded police protection in places like Camden and Atlantic City (two crime capitals of the State), totally botched getting economic relief to thousands of Sandy victims, sat in Trenton spouting his absurd economic philosophies while thousands of small businesses went belly up because of his utterly destructive management of the economy here in Jersey.
    Iowa loves him. Give him a house in Iowa and make him your governor. The only Jerseyans who might object are the very rich and the ones he's given patronage jobs despite their lack of credentials for such posts.

    March 28, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. Chukch

    I will continue to stress the much needed candidacy of minorities on both tickets for 2016 and even the mid-terms. We don't need candidates who want to recreate idiosyncrasies of the past when the geo-political landscape is moving toward diplomacy rather than global conflict.

    March 28, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. Me

    No, we actually don't like you!

    March 28, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. kingliberal

    a new jersey resident
    you know what Christie. Go to Iowa and stay there,

    *************************************************************************************************

    We don't want him here. We already have steve king. That's already more than enough embarrassment for one state.

    March 28, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. neastsider

    Christie is the fox who goes into the hen house and eats all the hens then says he wasn't hungry, somebody else ate the hens. He' s a liar and a fraud. No wonder the Iowa baggers like him.

    March 28, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Jeffro211

    Fat narcissus slob.

    March 28, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. bobo

    Christie is one of the last Politicians to actually speak his mind.... If he said he didn't know about the GWB scandal.... he didn't. So.... try and prove he lied... Try!

    March 28, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. An Iowan

    Gov. Christie...for the record..Iowan's do not "love" you..and you will find that out loud and clear if you are foolish enough to run in 2016. Your so called investigation is so laughable. Open your ears and close your mouth and maybe you can hear all the laughter around you. You will Never be president of this country so go have a doughnut!

    March 28, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. RettasVegas

    The more I read, the more I feel that he is a bully, and it's served him well, up until now.
    He offends most women I speak with, he's rough, lacks class, and tact, insulting when responding to questions asked by voter's and press.
    ALWAYS belligerently arrogant, it's the mask he tries to hide his lack of integrity behind, it's not working as of late, no doubt.
    He get's so nasy, and personal when attacking other's, in politic's that's so amateurish, it shows his lack of communication skill's, and confidence in what he's saying to be factual.
    In short – he's full of BS.
    He is always on the defense, even when when he has no reason to be, it's as if he's got a lot of baggage (guilt).

    Hey NJ, remember, you are what you hang with, you should have had his past checked, he's only doing what has worked in his past which is intimidation, and money = POWER = more $

    Independent – voter

    March 28, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    The CEO, and Board Of Directors at McDonald's send their love too. Fat slob.

    March 28, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. John

    "Keep trying Democrats. If you can't find something wrong with Christie make something up."
    So easy even a caveman can do it. No need to make anything up. Republicans like Christie are the gift that keeps on giving.

    March 28, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. roger

    Wisconsin like Christie too.

    March 28, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Thomas

    Hey DEMs, that stuff all over your face is called "egg". See what happens when you turn over all the emails and your name gets cleared. On Benghazi, 18 months later the Senate committee is STIIIIILLLLLLLLLL waiting on 85% of the emails they requested.
    .
    Probably just a massive coincidence and the Administration is probably not hiding anything.

    March 28, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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