11.06.2013 53

Could Chris Christie Republicans be the biggest losers?

chris_christieBy Rick Manning

National political pundits are busily fluffing up the narrative that the 2013 gubernatorial election has made New Jersey Governor Chris Christie the front runner for the Republican nod for president in 2016, while the narrow loss by conservative Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor’s race spells the beginning of the end for the conservative movement.

The Washington Times writes in its coverage of the New Jersey Governor’s race that the decision by Democrats to not put up a credible challenge to incumbent Chris Christie, “… helped to clear the path for Mr. Christie to drive up his margin of victory in the governor’s race, which political observers and Republican insiders said would send a message that the national party can broaden its appeal and bolster its brand without tacking to the tea party right.

They are wrong for at least three reasons.  Two of these are tactical and one is strategic.

New Jersey Governor Christie dramatically increased his own electability during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy when just prior to the 2012 presidential election, he went out of his way to embrace President Obama, earning support within the state, and enmity from Republicans around the country.  Few outside of New Jersey will forget the damage Christie’s hug did to the Party’s chances to defeat Obama.

The result is that the very same event that helped propel Christie’s in-state popularity will be disastrous for him outside the state.

On the other hand, the Virginia governor’s race was decided by 2.5 percent with Democrat Terry McAuliffe receiving well under a majority of the votes after significantly outspending Republican Cuccinelli.  Two campaign tricks tipped the scales to McAuliffe and each were worthy of his sleazy reputation.

A major Obama fundraiser/cash bundler was discovered in the last days of the campaign to have been the primary funder of the third party “Libertarian” candidate revealing that he was nothing more than a shill put up by the left to siphon votes from the other economic freedom candidate in the race – Cuccinelli.  The third party candidate libertarian poser received more than 6 percent of the total vote.

The second dirty trick engaged in by McAuliffe was a robocall perpetrated by the Virginia Democratic Party to conservative voters alleging that Cuccinelli supported Obamacare.  This admission of the unpopularity of Obama’s signature achievement was an overt lie, as Cuccinelli was the first Attorney General in the nation to challenge Obamacare in court.  The tactic was designed to suppress likely Cuccinelli voters who opposed the law, but were so disgusted by Republican cave-ins in D.C. that they were susceptible to this type of attack.

Thirty years ago, in one of my first political campaigns I was taught a truism that no longer is valid.  After I got done complaining about how we were being unfairly treated in the media, my boss answered, “They have the media and we have the money, our job is to spend that money effectively so we can beat their free media advantage.”

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Democrat had the media, an approximate two to one spending advantage and the help of a third very important group – the institutional Republicans who continually bad mouthed the conservative candidate and sat on their collective thumbs hoping Cuccinelli would lose so they could declare that only a moderate could win.

The 2.5 percent loss proves that these Republicans who always try to foist “electable” candidates who stand for nothing in primaries would rather deny a conservative victory than have their narrative be proven wrong.  If anything the fact that Ken Cuccinelli barely lost after being pilloried in the media without the resources to make his case is an affirmation that conservative principles are winners when people hear them articulated.

Unlike in New Jersey where the Republican moderate dominated his opponent in campaign cash, and the Democrats chose not to run a campaign against him, Cuccinelli was literally starved of funds and support by the Republican chattering class.  The Republican National Committee whose sole purpose is to elect Republican candidates failed to produce anywhere near the nine million dollars they pumped into Virginia four years earlier — it was just $3 million this time — in one of the most obvious acts of “friendly fire” campaign sabotage.

Strategically this has major implications for these professional Republican operatives who have already publicly declared war on their Party’s political base.

The Virginia race strips away almost any reason why conservatives should not look toward a third party in 2016, as the national Republicans attempt to foist another “candidate who can win” down their throats.

Politically, this puts the Republican ruling class in deep trouble.  If someone like former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin were to run as a third party alternative to a Christie-type, it is difficult to find a single state that Christie or someone of his ilk would carry.  And it is relatively easy to identify at least twenty states where a third party Palin would likely be favored over both Christie and a Democrat opponent.

Sometimes you can win a battle but lose the war, in the next couple of year’s establishment Republicans may just find themselves wishing they had gone all-in for the conservative in Virginia, as Ken Cuccinelli could become the symbol of the one way relationship they expect from their much despised political base.

If given a choice, that base just might figure out that they never actually needed the Republican Party bosses after all.  When that happens, the Republican Party will go the way of the Whigs and a new, populist, limited government party will take its place.

Sidebar: Colorado tax increase vote

Bill Gates put in one million dollars, Michael Bloomberg threw in another one million. In fact, more than ten million dollars was spent in the state of Colorado trying to convince voters to increase state taxes by a billion dollars under the guise of increasing education funding.  Opponents to the tax increase spent well under one million dollars.  In fact, the political committee founded to oppose Amendment 66 only raised and spent $11,000. That’s right, $10,000,000.00 against $11,000.00.

The result in what many consider to be a newly blue state?

The tax increase lost by an almost 2 to 1 margin.

Penn Pfiffner, chairman of Kids Before Unions, in an exclusive post-election interview with Americans for Limited Government asserted, “The voters saw through this very extreme and unwise measure.”  The jubilant Pfiffner continued saying, “Clearly Colorado voters took a very common sense approach toward balancing government funding and family budgets.”

For all those seeking to find hope in the 2013 elections, know that in Virginia, the Democrats had to falsely claim that the conservative nominee supported Obamacare to secure a meager 2.5 percent victory, and in Colorado, limited government/low tax advocates stood victorious against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Not exactly the liberal referendum that many in D.C. want to make it.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government.

  • teawithjill

    Weill if Christie is the GOP nominee it’s time for a 3rd party!!!!!

  • regulus30

    the sword cuts both ways;; no more republican wins without the Tea Party and vise versa;; off into the wilderness for 30 years of communism;; by then it won’t matter any more.

  • sunnyblues

    Being from Colorado, I was very relieved and happy that the Progressive Goliath just got beaten by We the People. Sometimes, common sense does prevail. Sometimes, money can’t buy everything. Thanks, Colorado, for kicking some liberal butt. Let’s keep the momentum rolling. We can and shall overcome.

  • jwatersphd

    Sound thinking. A third party, or T party, can nourish itself for eventual victory, hammering out a solid set of principles and dependable soldiers, and the Republicans who are merely Democrats (RINOs) will be frozen out of office. After 30 years of Democrat governance, the sheeple will be no match for those who know what freedom is really about. That can’t happen if the 3rd party is compromising itself catering to the 47%. Stand on principle.

  • gavinwca

    Plain and Lee in a third Party for 2016. That have my vote. Only FOOLS vote for these outrageous taxes and FASCIST, DEMOCRAT and RINO candidates.

  • spidermike

    “On matters of style, swim with the current; on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

  • pduffy

    J, you sound like a T-party advocate. What’s up?

  • chaslie45

    If the Republican Party really thinks Tea Party conservative voters are inconsequential then it is time for me to vote third party as I will no longer give them my vote to continue to sell us down the river.

  • charlie buck

    FOR THE LIFE OF ME-I CANNOT feel bad for a DUMB GROUP of people of which it can be said that”” XXX million $ were spent by the most crooked S>O>B> in the world and ONLY XX million was spent by the good and honest -and the S>O>B won! what does that say about the morals of the people of America!!!! if this is true and your affections can be BOUGHT -what chance does this country have to survive??? I fear we have NONE at all nor do we deserve any! GOODBYE AMERICA IT WAS GOOD TO HAVE KNOWN YOU!! we are finished as a FREE country!! I am glad I am old and will not live to see the rest of the decline of a FREE country that I love!!!

  • charlie buck

    who did Colorado vote for in the last pres election?

  • Mark

    I thought you left. Or maybe during your time away you finally got your head screwed on right. Time will tell.

  • charlie buck

    if you need any prove that Christie is a DEMO in rino clothing -this is IT!!! when he was elected as a REPUB and everyone was THRILLED-I said wait and seen what the LOUD MOUTHED B S artist turns out to be before you celebrate his victory! and as usual he turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments a peace loving people could have bad dreams about!! when the $$$ came to town he dragged his tongue on the pavement licking OBUMBLERS a**!!! of course that is what NJ loves I guess-a man that will sell his soul to be sure THEY are well fed-AND TO HELL WITH THE REST OF THE COUNTRY!! THATS WHAT I SEE-HOW ABOUT YOU??

  • notalib

    I am outraged at the Republican Party. That race could have been won but the Party did not help Ken. They could have countered by spoiler candidate and contributed money to Ken. It is almost like they will lose important races if it isn’t their pick for candidates. They don’t seem to be for America. They are for themselves.

  • sunnyblues

    Well, I, for one of many did NOT vote for obama here in Colorado. As for those who did, I can only conclude that they were duped, that they were ignorant of the facts, that they were looking for handouts, that they were wanting something for nothing, that they like free cell phones, that they believed in his lies, etc…I hope that answered your question.

  • Julyette J

    I have always said I would vote even if I had to choose the lesser of two evils, but I am not sure that Christie is not on par with Clinton! If he gets the Republican establishment nomination then I will, once more vote for a third party. I swore I would never do so again after I voted for Perot and ended up with Billary, but if my choices are Hillary and Christie……….

  • 1marksman

    Chris Christie will never get pass the primaries. He has angered the Republican base with his sighing of Gun control bills and his cozying up with Obama and some of Obama’s policies. The party elite will try to jam him down our throats like they did Romney but I don’t think it will work this time. The last two elections the party went with the [electable] candidate and we all know that got us. If we give the American people a clear choice, someone like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee or one of several other true conservative candidates the people will respond. It is our job to articulate common sense answers to the nations problems that conservatives have put forward. The American people don’t want the same old crap that has been going on in Washington. We have to give them an chance to vote for someone with real values, not a political liar.

  • Julyette J

    Communism has been slowly creeping into the democrat party since Truman. I believe JFK was the last real American Democrat. He was a lousy husband, but a good president; LBJ (cheat), Jimmy carter (wimp and loser), Bill Clinton (married to Hillary – poor guy, but still evil),and Barack Obama (full blown Marxist, Muslim, America/freedom hating, destructive Communist!).

  • Julyette J

    I hope and pray (hard!) that you are right. If the base forces him onto the party then it will probably not only mean another election lost, but the end of the Republican Party.

  • charlie buck

    it does not answer very well. so we are to conclude that Colorado people will get up of their a** to protect themselves but don’t give a damn about the rest of the WORLD!!is that right? sounds like a sorry site to me! at least Georgia TRIED to protect the WHOLE country by voteing against OBUMBLER- so YOU and others are responsible for the sorry mess we are in- now are you so proud of YOUR state?

  • regulus30

    WE NEED TO START understanding the concept of running a vote splitter like the demos did in Virginia.

  • sunnyblues

    What are you talking about? I am not proud of what has happened in Colorado since the democrats took over. I hate it as a matter of fact. But when I see evidence that maybe, just maybe in some areas people are starting to wake up, I get hopeful. I didn’t say I was proud. And I AM not responsible for the sorry mess we are in. Colorado is a state just like any other which is a collection of people of whom I am not personally responsible.

  • BDnSC

    Colorado went to Obama. However, based on your answer it appears that you sat home and let that happen. Yes? Or No?
    If you stayed at home, make sure you read Charlie’s comment below.

  • BDnSC

    We can make a huge impact by how/ who we donate to. Reince can stand by with McConnell and McCain and beg for money from those “Large money donors” interested in amnesty while we stand and help the conservatives in the primaries. He sure didn’t get any cash from them this go around.
    Also note that once again the polls puked in Preibus’ face. Nothing new there either except the tired old elites use those same polls to tell us we need amnesty of the US Chamber of Commerce is going to cut us off. See previous paragraph.

  • BDnSC

    I intend to lobby and work hard against Grahamnesty in the primary, but I am afraid to commit that I won’t vote for him if the he wins the slot.

  • BDnSC

    It is also important to note where the idiots did spend the measely amount of money they sent. Nothing for TV to counter the hammering Ken was taking on TV. They spent it all on “their ground force that did a heck of a job” …riiight. Ken’s firing his campaign manager and the help he got from conservative talk radio had a helluva lot more to do with the close margin than anything the RNC did.

  • sunnyblues

    Okay, I am going to try this one more time. I did not vote for obama. I did not stay home. I did my duty as an American citizen and voted in this and all elections. I am totally aware that my state went for the biggest fraud ever. I do not see how you can conclude from my answer that I sat home.

  • regulus30

    JFK would be a Republican in today’s arena.

  • ccalreds

    What ever in the end none of us are winners. At least not in this life. I know who holds the future.

  • FightOn!

    No third party!! Stand up and exert control over the Republican party. Our membership (conservatives) is as valid as anyone else. This will be less damaging then splitting the party in two while people figure out who they are and which they are joining.

    We have made a mistake identifying ourselves as “conservative”. Though we are, “conservative” compared to the new “moderate” Republican, we really are just staying true to those beliefs (smaller govt, lower taxes, individual freedoms) that lead us to the party to begin with. Why should we, faithful to our beliefs and proven right day after day, give in to the current management and step aside? We shouldn’t! Let’s primary them out and go for it. We’re losing now and a third party movement guarantees we lose for a long time.

  • bob570

    Are the Republicans forgetting what a dud another Chrisy from New Jersey was on the national seen. This was, I believe in Global Warming Chrisy Todd Whitman. I bet the new Chrisy from NJ believes in that yarn as well.

  • Frank629

    Christie is a RINO .I am sure that karl rove supports him as do most of the rinos. They may have cut their own lifelines with supporting (along with the dems) Christie so much and letting a true conservative like Cuccinelli twist in the wind.I ONLY HOPE THEY BECOME IRREVELANT AND GO BY THE WAYSIDE LIKE THE WHIG PARTY.REMEMBER RINOS OBAMACARE WILL SCREW YOUR DEM.BUDDIES AND YOU TOO AND VERY SOON!!!.

  • charlie buck

    it is time for a true unabashed TEA PARTY!! people say if you start a third party -its like voteing DEMO-SO WHAT!! if you vote REPUB anymore-its like voteing DEMO and getting more so every time we put a RINO in office and there is NOTHING much left in the REPUB party but RINOs( re-chris Christie for example) so the longer we wait to get rid of the smell of RINOs -the more idiots like OBUMBLE gain on us!!
    I myself will NO LONGER support the REPUB PARTY with money or words!! it is hard to do that but a FREE America NO LONGER exist.so I am NOT hurting America- it no longer exist!!! where do I live? the USSA(UNITED SOCIAL STATES OF AMERICA) ! THINK ON THAT A WHILE-COMARADES!!!

  • charlie buck

    DO YOU really BELIEVE YOU WILL LIVE LONG ENOUGH(or your grandchildren) to “vote” the REPUB PARTY conservative. when was the last time you waited long enough to see a BAD APPLE turn sweet?!!! dream on dreamer- I will support ONLY the TEA PARTY! and I know from history and my own observations that as soon as the OTHER PARTY -which ever it is- gets TOO MUCH POWER-it will be time to abandon them also but I won’t be here by then so maybe the next generation won”t be as SLOW WITTED as we have been-I pray!!!

  • jwatersphd

    OK. No one else seems to be interested, but I am. Who is it who holds the future? Also, what do you mean that we are all losers?

  • CapeConservative

    and like they did in the last MA gubernatorial election!

  • CapeConservative

    And when so many of the people hurt by the hurricane are STILL waiting for the funds to be disbursed, I can’t help but wonder where the media is…after all, O and CC both should be held responsible for seeing these people served well!

  • CapeConservative

    It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the Dems purposefully allowed Christie to win. No Obama No Bill No Hill – NO $$$ and a democrat candidate no one even knew!

    What is SHAMEFUL is the fact that the RNC failed to support a winnable candidate.

    There will NEVER EVER EVER be another $$ sent to the RNC from this checkbook!

    If you have an extra $ or two to spare, it would be good to send to help the Virginia Attorney General with the recount…that is a position far too valuable to be lost to those who do NOT believe in the rule of law! We have far too many democrats in office now who refuse to follow or enforce the laws of the land.

  • regulus30

    conservatives need a stategist to teach them hardball;; dumocraps use any one and everyone they can to win;; gays, muslims welfare slackers, hostile lib women,communists tree huggers;; anyone who hates America is their base;; conservatives need to coop evangelicals, conservatives, small business owners, hetero couples, military personnel ; Ron Paulies, TEA PARTY EXPRESS otherwise they will never win;; the old DC insiders are finished, get rid of Reince Preibus appoint ALLEN WEST AS THE HEAD OF THE GOP, or Pastor Connors.Sell the values of America not the government Santa Claus state. Reward people for working ie tax breaks ; not the slacker/ takers; they give nothing and receive everything free.

  • CapeConservative

    I’ll take Allen West in any position! If he is still available, I hope he challenges Bill Nelson for the Senate next round.
    Agree the leaders of the Republican Party have overstayed their welcome…and usefulness! Let’s CLEAN HOUSE next year!!!!

  • Virginia Cavalier

    DINO-Democrats and RINO-Republicans indicate, illustrate, a Third Party is Past Due. DINO-RINO Collusion dictates A Third Party is mandatory to give “We the people…” a voice in our government, the very government we are paying for…

  • Alan Wood

    Exactly – the establishment continues to foist Doles, McLames, Rombamas on us and they lose. It is time for a third party if they try to put this liberal demonrat on the ticket in 2016!

  • Phillip Lisk

    In the Virginia election, the Democrats did two (2) things that should be illegal. First, “A major Obama fundraiser/cash bundler was discovered in the last days of the campaign to have been the primary funder of the third party “Libertarian” candidate revealing that he was nothing more than a shill put up by the left to siphon votes from the other economic freedom candidate in the race – Cuccinelli.”

    And, “The second dirty trick engaged in by McAuliffe was a robocall perpetrated by the Virginia Democratic Party to conservative voters alleging that Cuccinelli supported Obamacare. This admission of the unpopularity of Obama’s signature achievement was an overt lie, as Cuccinelli was the first Attorney General in the nation to challenge Obamacare in court.”
    Yet here we Republicans sit, crying the blues and whining. What we should be doing is suing the Democrat party or having a friendly Attorney General charge them with two electoral crimes. If not both, Republicans should pursue the second, the overt and provable lie. I cannot believe that both of these items are not criminal and illegal.
    What is happening to us as Republicans. Have we no outrage, no desire to nail these two items to the Democrats foreheads.

    Phillip Lisk

  • rivahmitch

    From my perspective, it’s not just that he can’t win (and without conservative support he can’t) . It’s that IF he did win, we’d just have someone else who would be the tax collector for the socialist progressives, reduce our rights, and grow the government. He’s as much the enemy as are Obama and the Clintons…. just a bit more subtle in his presentation.

  • jmortensen

    You can’t keep picking rhinos.. and expect to win .. OH ! maybe that’s the plan after all .. so many
    Republicans are siding with the left they may as well change their party affiliation..
    I don’t care what party he is in , I’m for Ben Carson !

  • jmortensen

    The next generation had better be home Schooled or the obamabrain washaterias .. will have them all in lock step and bowing to their king .. Support the Tea party and their principles ..
    All real Republicans should be on board and make the 2014 elections a real “Bump” in the road .. (to dislodge all rhinos)

  • jmortensen

    Our Future is really in the HANDS of GOD .. If we desert HIM ..He will give us what we are asking for, No future in America, we already are close to being the land of the unfree ..

  • ccalreds

    Thank you. You put into better words what I was trying to say. God bless.

  • Einstein

    Christie Republican would be the same as a Reagan Democrat???

  • JonathonGalt

    The Republican party seems to think they can draw Democrat votes by running a more moderate Democrat as their Republican candidate, which results only in the rate at which our government is being transformed into a Socialist democracy, and results in the Left winning gradually even when they lose an election.

  • Julyette J

    I have never “picked” a RINO – the Republican establishment keeps shoving them down our throats and given the choice of the RINO or Obama or Clinton I’ll be forced to vote for the RINO or flat out throw my vote away – which is equivalent to voting for the Democrat!

  • Julyette J

    The RINO’s and republican base are at war with the Conservatives. We need to e-mail the Republican National Committee and give them hell! They and the media keep insisting that the Republicans shut down the government, but Obama refused to come to the table and Harry Reid flat refused to negotiate. The House funded everything they asked for – except – at the urging of their constituents – ObamaCare. I hope people remember this, now that their insurance plans are being cancelled (the plans they liked and could keep – period).

  • katiefan

    Hellllo, Christie is a freaking conservative! He’d just the gov of a state that hasn’t voted GOP in a presidential election since the 80’s! He’s anti-tax,pro-life,anti-gay marriage…. Wtf do you want him to do? Reagan would laugh at the so called “conservatives” whose sport is to bash one of our own-especially after such a victory! Stop this bs! The real battle is against Hillary and the liberal progressives!

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