- suspended campaign Feb. 10, 2016 -   





visits to 3rdQ '15

NJ.com - The Essential  Chris Christie
Chris Christie for President, Inc.

govchristie  |  @chrischristie

...announced candidacy on June 30, 2015  FEC
Gov. Chris Christie

GovChrisChristie  |  @GovChristie

Leadership Matters for America PAC, Inc.

...leadership PAC filed with FEC
Jan. 23, 2015
America Leads

...super PAC filed with FEC

Feb. 23, 2015


NJ against Chris Christie

Conventional Wisdom

- Directness.
- Ability to appeal to moderates and win in a blue state.
- Successful chairmanship of Republican Governors Association in the 2014 cycle. (+)
- Bridgegate scandal.
- Weak economy.
- Charges of bullying.
- Skepticism among social conservatives (compare Rudy Giuliani).

Notes, Coverage and Speeches

1. Click on photos for more.  2. To return here, click "Back" button on browser.
March 6, 2014 - CPAC appearance. May 14, 2014 - Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit.
Jan. 24, 2015 - Iowa Freedom Summit.

- Speech on criminal justice reform at Robert Clemente North Camden Community Center in Camden, NJ, July 16, 2015.
- Announcement speech at Livingston High School in Livingston, NJ, June 30, 2015.
- Speech on education at Iowa State University in Ames, IA, June 11, 2015.
- Speech on America's role in the world at Prescott Park in Portsmouth, NH, May 18, 2015.
- "A Five-Point Plan for Four Percent Growth" at UNH Manchester in Manchester, NH, May 12, 2015.
- Speech on entitlement reform at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, April 14, 2015.
- Speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, IA, Jan. 24, 2015.
- State of the State address in Trenton, NJ, Jan. 13, 2015.
- Speech at the 41st Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at Gaylord National at National Harbor, MD, March 6, 2014.
- State of the State address in Trenton, NJ, Jan. 14, 2014.
Victory speech at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ, Nov. 5, 2013.
- Speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL, Aug. 28, 2012.

2016 - Gov. Christie put extensive time into New Hampshire, holding numerous "Telling It Like It Is" town hall meetings.  He excelled in these forums, directly responding to questions from Granite Staters.  A problem for Christie was that he faced two other candidates running on the "governor track," former Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. John Kasich.  When the votes were counted on Feb. 9 he finished behind both of them, coming in sixth with just 7.4-percent of the vote; he suspended his campaign the next day.

- Gov. Christie had perhaps the most difficult first four months of the year of any of the potential candidates to the point where some observers questioned whether there would even be a campaign. 

There will be.  On June 26 Christie signed "a responsible, balanced budget" of close to $34 billion (
+).  With that out of the way he announced his candidacy on June 30 in the gymnasium of Livingston High School.

One very serious threat to Christie's presidential ambitions is the state of the New Jersey economy. 
As critics pointed to a lagging economy, pension fund shortfall and downgraded credit rating, Christie delivered his fifth state of the state address on Jan. 13.  "New Jersey is better off than it was last year at this time, and it is certainly far better off than it was just five years ago," Christie declared, pointing to a formula of "cutting spending, shrinking government, and fundamentally reforming the way government operates."  He asked legislators to "make 2015 the year we finish the job" addressing "$90 billion unfunded liability for pensions and health benefits." 

Meanwhile, a second major threat lurked in the background as U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman continued his investigation into Christie over Bridgegate and other matters.  There was a bit of news on Jan. 7 when the Wall Street Journal reported that subpoenas had been issued to Christie's re-election campaign.  Then on May 1, Fishman held a press conference in which he announced a guilty plea by David Wildstein in the "Bridge Scheme" and charges against Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni.  Christie tweeted, 'Today's charges make clear that what I said from day one is true.  I had no knowledge or involvement in the planning or executive of this act."

There were other bits of bad news.  Christie started out the year with a bit of a flap over his support of the Dallas Cowboys football team; his acceptance of free travel and tickets to attend the Cowboys' Jan. 4 playoff game prompted critics to raise ethics questions (+); images of Christie in an orange sweater celebrating in Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones' sky box received quite a bit of coverage.

Christie's official mission to the United Kingdom on Feb. 1-3 seemed designed to add to his foreign policy credentials. 
In addition to his meetings with officials and executives, the itinerary was packed with a variety of stops.  He started the trip attending the Arsenal vs. Aston Villa soccer match and also made a visit to Hope House, which provides transitional housing for women recovering from addiction.  But a remark about vaccinations, a front-page New York Times story about Christie's "fondness for luxury benefits" and cancelled media appearances generated a tide of unfavorable coverage.

One other bit of bad news came on April 20 when news organizations reported that state Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos, who chaired Christie' 2009 campaign, is backing Jeb Bush.

Despite all this, Christie continued to move forward on the political front. 
He embarked on an inauguration tour, attending inaugurations of five Republican governors [FL-Scott (Jan. 7), MA-Baker (Jan. 8), SC-Haley (Jan. 14), IA-Branstad (Jan. 16) and MD-Hogan (Jan. 21), but cancelled planned trips to Ohio (Kasich, Jan. 12) and Illinois (Rauner, Jan. 12) due to weatherOn Jan. 23 Christie's leadership PAC, Leadership Matters for America PAC, filed with the FEC.  On Feb. 23 a pro-Christie super PAC, America Leads, filed. 

An April 14-15
trip to New Hampshire showed the potential appeal of a Christie campaign.  Speaking at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Christie delivered a major speech on entitlement reform calling for "an honest conversation about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid with the people of our country." (+ The next day in Christie held his first town hall in the Granite State.  In the Londonderry Lions Club, speaking in front of a banner reading "Tell It Like It Is," Christie thrived in the format, fielding a broad range of questions and calling to mind Sen. John McCain's success with town halls in past New Hampshire primaries.  Christie appears to be focusing most of his efforts on New Hampshire.  On May 12 he delivered another major policy speech, outlining a "Five-Point Plan for Four Percent Growth" at UNH Manchester (+) and less than a week later on May 18 he spoke on America's Role in the World at Prescott Park in Portsmouth (+).

- The first part of Gov. Christie's year was consumed with the Bridgegate scandal, which, it appeared, might well dash any national ambitions.  Christie sought to weather the storm and put the controversy behind him while critics and political cartoonists (>) had a field day.  On Jan. 9, Christie held a press conference to apologize for the bridge lane closures (+).  On March 28 he released the findings of an internal investigation; the report was met with considerable skepticism (+).  On April 4 ABC News broke the news that the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey had convened a grand jury to look into a criminal investigation.  The New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation worked throughout the year, meeting nine times from Jan. 27 to July 17 and releasing an interim report on Dec. 8 (>). 

Equally or perhaps more serious for Christie was a string of bad news on New Jersey's economy.  The state experienced an $800 revenue shortfall which Christie addressed in part by delaying pension payments.  On Sept. 5 Fitch Ratings hit the state with a seventh credit downgrade under Christie's tenure (+).  On a more concrete level, in Atlantic City four casinos closed (Atlantic Club in Jan. 13, Showboat on Aug. 31, Revel on Sept. 1, Trump Plaza on Sept. 16), costing thousands of jobs, and the Trump Taj Mahal came close to closing. 

Despite the difficulties, Christie maintained an active travel schedule as chairman of the RGA
.  The RGA reports Christie spent more than 70 days on the road in 2014 attending RGA events in 37 states (+);
he also raised $102 million during his time as chair.  His travels have also taken him to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.  In those states he has encountered a preview of possible 2016 attacks in the form of attack ads run by the Judicial Crisis Network accusing him of being liberal on judges (+). 

Christie also managed to fit in a couple of trade missions, traveling to Mexico in September (+) and Canada in December (+).

- The recovery effort from Sandy was a major focus for Christie; indeed he described it as his mission.  "[T]hat mission is to make sure that everyone, everyone in New Jersey who's affected by Sandy is returned to normalcy in their life," Christie declared in his re-election victory speech on Nov. 5, 2013.  "And I want to promise you tonight, I will not let anyone, anything, any political party, any governmental entity or any force get in between me and the completion of my mission."  According to a fact sheet from the governor's office, in the year since Sandy, New Jersey received more than $5.67 billion in total federal assistance for recovery. 

In addition to the "tarmac moment," conservatives have other gripes with Christie.  He was not invited to address the 40th annual CPAC held March 14-16, 2013; according to one news account his positions on guns did not sit well with the conference organizers.  He also fell afoul of social conservatives on Oct. 21 when he dropped the state's appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court on the issue of gay marriage.  The Family Research Council issued a statement which concluded, "...Combined with his signing of a radical bill to outlaw even voluntary sexual orientation change efforts with minors, today's action has given conservatives serious pause about Gov. Christie's reliability."  The release of the 2012 campaign book Double Down at the beginning of Nov. 2013 generated some news; according to the account
the Romney campaign's vetting of Christie as a possible running mate produced a generally unfavorable view

On Election Day, those who know him best approved of the job Christie was doing.  On Nov. 5 he was resoundingly re-elected to a second term,
defeating state Sen. Barbara Buono by 60.4-percent to 38.1-percent, and carrying all but two of the state's 21 counties.  The win came although Democrats enjoyed a voter registration advantage of more than 700,000 in New Jersey (Democrats 33.1-percent, Republicans 19.8-percent and unaffiliated 47.0-percent).  According to CNN exit poll results, he carried 51-percent of the Latino vote.  In his victory speech (+) Christie declared, "I did not seek a second term to do small things, I sought a second term to finish the job.  Now watch me do it."  Touting his success he said that "maybe the folks in Washington, DC should tune in their TVs right now to see how it’s done." 

The convincing win established Christie as something of a frontrunner among the 2016 GOP presidential prospects.  A Ready for Christie PAC launched "to encourage and rally support for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to run for President in 2016."  Further, on Nov. 21 Christie became chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a key position for 2014 when gubernatorial elections will be held in 36 states.  Christie is also sporting a leaner look.  In February, he secretly underwent lap band surgery to address his obesity; this was not know publicly until reported on May 7. 

However, 2013 ended on a controversial note for Christie as "Bridgegate" unfolded over several weeks in late December.  During his re-election campaign, at least 60 Democratic elected officials had endorsed Christie, but Fort Lee's Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich was not one of those officials.  In September, Christie appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge for a mysterious traffic study, leading to four days of traffic gridlock in Fort Lee.  Christie's critics see this as an example of "petty bullying tactics," but at year's end it was unclear whether this was a damaging scandal or a tempest in a teapot.

2012 - On Oct. 29, 2012 Superstorm Sandy struck New Jersey with devasting force.  On Oct. 31, 2012, when President Obama arrived at Atlantic City Airport to tour Sandy damage, Christie gave Obama a warm greeting and handshake.  This was six days before Election Day, and although Christie had been an active surrogate for Romney, some conservatives believe the "tarmac moment," may have helped Obama defeat the Republican nominee. 


Bob Ingle and Michael Symons.  2012.  Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise To Power.  New York: St. Martin's Press.

Written by New York Times bestselling author Bob Ingle and fellow journalist Michael Symons, who have covered the governor’s political career for more than a decade, Chris Christie offers the first inside portrait of this fascinating man.  Drawing on interviews with Christie himself, his wife, Mary Pat, his brother, Todd, his father, Bill, his uncle Joe, and many longtime supporters as well as political opponents, Ingle and Symons trace Christie’s life."  

Matt Katz.  Jan. 5, 2016.  AMERICAN GOVERNOR: Chris Christie's Bridge to Redemption.  New York: Threshold Editions
[Simon & Schuster imprint].
"...a definitive biography of the popular and controversial governor of New Jersey—including the true story behind the Bridgegate lane-closure scandal...  Journalist Matt Katz has been covering the Christie campaign since 2011 and has seen firsthand how the governor appeals to the public through his tactics, rhetoric, and personality. In American Governor, Katz weaves a compelling on-the-ground political narrative that begins with Christie’s landslide election victory over opponent Jon Corzine and follows him along the road to his announcement of his intention to run for the highest office in the country."

Early Articles
Ryan Lizza.  "Crossing Christie."  The New Yorker.  April 14, 2014.
Alec MacGillis. "Chris Christie's Entire Career Reeks."  The New Republic.  March 3, 2014.
Benjamin Wallace-Wells.  "What Is Chris Christie Doing Right?"  New York.  Aug. 12, 2013.
Michael Smerconish.  "Could Chris Christie Become President?" 
Philadelphia.  July 2013.
Michael Crowley.  "The Boss."   Time.  Jan. 21, 2013 (cover date).

NJ.com: Chris Christie
John Martin.  "Christie: A need to lead, honed by family and success."
NJ.com, May 23, 2009.

American Bridge 21st Century PAC: Chris Christie.

Old site:

Ready for Christie PAC
ReadyForChristie  |  @Ready4Christie

...launched Nov. 2013
...inactive since Jan. 2014

  this page last revised March 16, 2016