NBC New York: Chris Christie Backs Mitt Romney for GOP Nomination
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he is backing Mitt Romney for president as “the man we need to lead America” and said attacks on his Mormon religion are “beneath the office of the president of the United States.”
Christie announced his endorsement at a surprise appearance in New Hampshire with the former Massachusetts governor on Tuesday.
The event comes a few days after the Rev. Robert Jeffress, a supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, called Romney’s religion a “cult” and said he was “not a Christian.” Jeffress was at an event where he introduced Perry.
On Tuesday, Christie said “any campaign that associates itself with that type of comment is beneath the office of the president of the United States.”
For those of you who lost respect for the New Jersey governor, or for those of you simply disheartened that Chris Christie’s interpretation of William F. Buckley’s golden rule–support the most conservative candidate who can win–is different than your own, this endorsement should serve as a vicious slap in the face as to the purpose of the primary system.
Look, I like Christie. I think that his steadfastness on certain issue–union involvement in education and state-level fiscal responsibility chief among them–is admirable. Yet I also knew that Christie was a moderate with regard to other issues vitally important to the conservative and libertarian-conservative base of the GOP. For that reason, I did not join in the cacophony of advance praise and hero worship that took place among those in the resurgent right prior to Christie’s final acknowledgment of his non-candidacy. Is he a great guy? Yes. Would he make a good chief executive despite his moderate leanings? Very probably. Does he have unquestionable conservative bona fides? Absolutely not.
To be honest, the Christie endorsement comes as anything but a surprise to me. I did not think it would happen this quickly, but I believe that Romney and Christie share a certain ideological mold, and for that reason I believed it inevitable. Personally, I don’t think that anybody on the right should be surprised. Those who genuinely are, are probably those who participated in the hero worship in the first place.
What this should do for everyone on the right, however, is show exactly how valuable the primary process is. While any one of the GOP candidates–yes, even Jon Huntsman–will likely receive my vote against Barack Obama in the general election (this election, of all elections, is not the time to vote Barack Obama back into office as a lame-duck president for ANY reason, as NONE of the GOP candidates would be worse than a lame duck Barack Obama), I want the candidate who best articulates and espouses conservative-libertarian ideals, who does so in a way that can trounce the president in the general election, and who will not wither under the intense scrutiny of a sycophantic media clearly in the corner of the other guy.
The primary is THE time for separating the wheat from the chaff. I understand Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, but we must also understand that the left is not playing games, and that any attack made by one Republican against another would be made against that same Republican by Barack Obama and his flunkies. We need to know that our nominee rises to the top.