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    Chris Christie Tag

    The field of Republicans running for president is about to get a bit more crowded as New Jersey governor Chris Christie is expected to announce his bid to run on Tuesday. Bloomberg reports:
    Chris Christie Said to Plan Tuesday Announcement of Presidential Run New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will join the crowded Republican 2016 field Tuesday, two people with knowledge of his plans said. Christie, 52, will cap months of speculation with an announcement in his hometown of Livingston, said the people, who asked for anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak before his speech. While Christie previously said he hadn’t made up his mind, he’s spent months making policy speeches and holding meetings in key primary states including New Hampshire and Iowa. He’s traveled as “honorary chairman” of Leadership Matters for America, his political action committee. Samantha Smith, a committee spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

    Chris Christie is the first of the potential GOP presidential candidates who first embraced Common Core to distance himself from it.  According to New
    Navigating New Jersey interests and a likely presidential campaign, Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday proposed dropping national Common Core education standards he once supported but have since become a lightening rod issue for Republican voters. The governor, speaking at Burlington County College in Pemberton, declared Common Core is "simply not working." Christie wants to assemble a team to develop a state-based group to develop "new standards right here in New Jersey, not 200 miles away on the banks of the Potomac River."
    That Common Core doesn't work—can't work—is no surprise to those of us who oppose it, but it is interesting to see that Christie has changed his tune as he struggles to rebuild his reputation with conservatives.   When he was pushing Common Core in New Jersey, Christie lashed out at its opponents:
    “We are doing Common Core in New Jersey and we’re going to continue,” Christie said in 2013. “And this is one of those areas where I have agreed more with the president than not. I think part of the Republican opposition you see in some corners in Congress is a reaction, that knee-jerk reaction that is happening in Washington right now, that if the president likes something the Republicans in Congress don’t. If the Republicans in Congress like something, the president doesn’t.”
    While he wasn't as insulting as Jeb Bush has been about Common Core's opponents, he was dismissive and unwilling to hear the case against Common Core.  Examples such as children failing Common Core math problems because their numbers weren't "friendly" enough, the arguments against Common Core's "dumbing down of standards," and theoretical arguments concerning problems with Common Core's "compartmental learning" fell on deaf ears.

    Members of the Legal Insurrection community will be familiar with the travails of Pennsylvania nurse and single-mom of two Shaneen Allen under the heel of New Jersey's unconscionable anti-Second Amendment laws, as we covered the matter here in some detail, including PA Nurse Arrested on Gun Charges Given Reprieve (9/24/14) and The Memo that let Shaneen Allen — and Chris Christie’s political future — off the hook (9/29/14). In brief, Ms. Allen was in possession of a PA-issued concealed carry permit and a handgun when she drove across the Delaware and into New Jersey.  Pulled over for a routine traffic stop, Allen volunteered to the officer that she was in possession of the handgun.  She mistakenly believed that her PA concealed carry permit, like her PA driver's license, was legally valid in both states. The New Jersey authorities quickly disabused her of that notion, charged her with illegal possession of a handgun, threatened the mother of two small children with a multiple-year mandatory jail sentence, and refused to allow her to enter a diversion program for non-violent first-time offenders (the same program into which football star and wife knock-out puncher Ray Rice would be readily admitted without hesitation just months later).

    Remember a few years ago when Democrats took to lecturing conservatives about a new tone? They don't. Brad Woodhouse, former DNC communications chief and current President of liberal super PAC American Bridge, recently made some rather unsavory comments about New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Alex Pappas of The Daily Caller reported:
    Democratic Super PAC Goes After Chris Christie: ‘We Want To Kill Him Dead’ The president of a Democrat super PAC dedicated to digging up opposition research on Republicans said of New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie: “We want to kill him dead.” Brad Woodhouse, the president of the liberal super PAC American Bridge, made the provocative comments in a profile of the organization published by Bloomberg Politics. The story notes that American Bridge would not back off its attacks on Christie. “We’re not going to pull resources from Christie,” Woodhouse told the outlet. “We want to kill him dead.” Woodhouse, a longtime Democratic operative, has often accused Republicans of using offensive rhetoric against President Obama. But on Thursday, Woodhouse seemed proud of his quote, retweeting it several times in his Twitter feed.
    If nothing else, you have to love the fact that Christie is being attacked by a liberal group called American Bridge.

    Miguel from the excellent GunFreeZone blog brings the goods again with his post "New Jersey slaps some lipstick to their gun laws pig." In that post, Miguel shares a memorandum from acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman that allowed County prosecutor Jim McClain to back away from his outrageous prosecution of Shaneen Allen, and may have saved Chris Christie's Presidential aspirations from an early death at the hands of the Garden State's draconian gun laws. Allen is the Philadelphia nurse who broke New Jersey law by carrying her Pennsylvania-licensed handgun in her car's glovebox into the Garden State. As punishment, the Atlantic City prosecutor demanded that Ms. Allen spend a minimum of three years in prison. The handgun was never taken out of the glovebox while Allen was in New Jersey, except when confiscated by the New Jersey State Police after the ill-informed Allen volunteered to them at a traffic stop that she possessed the gun, in the mistaken belief that her Pennsylvania gun permit was valid in New Jersey. Allen, who had no prior criminal history of any sort, was peremptorily denied access to New Jersey's pre-trial intervention (PTI) program, despite the fact that no one alleged she had any intent to use the gun unlawfully or to harm any person.  (In contrast, Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice was quickly ushered into the state's PTI program after videotape emerged of him punching his wife unconscious in an elevator.) Atlantic City prosecutor McClain drew widespread condemnation, and created a particularly awkward situation for New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie. Imprisoning a young mother who had no malicious intent was not going to help him win over America's 100 million gun owners.

    The nearly-year long investigation into New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's involvement in "Bridgegate" has revealed no evidence so far connecting Christie to last year's George Washington Bridge lane shutdown that caused complete gridlock for commuters traveling between New York and New Jersey. From NBC New York:
    “My experience with federal law enforcement is that once you reach critical mass if you don’t have it within nine months or so you’re not likely to ever get it,” former federal prosecutor Robert W. Ray said. When the final report is issued, Christie may still face complications from the scandal, said Lee Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion “That’s good news for him,” Miringoff said. “The bad news remains that politically as chief executive it looks like he was not in control of his administration at the time when this occurred. So that remains the downside for him. That doesn’t go away but this panel provides greater credibility barring any further revelations coming out.”

    A handful of hecklers disrupted Chris Christie's town hall meeting in Mount Laurel, NJ on Thursday, prompting the NJ Governor to fire back at their interruptions. From CNN:
    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's town hall Thursday was repeatedly interrupted by what appeared to be a coordinated effort by hecklers, four of whom took turns shouting at the governor when other audience members tried to ask questions. The first protester stood up about 35 minutes into the event and hollered at the governor from across the room about Superstorm Sandy relief aid. After about half a minute, a fed-up Christie turned to the young man and tried to shut him down. "Either sit down or keep quiet, or get out," the Republican governor said. "Either one. We're done with you."

    Kevin Drum at Mother Jones has noticed the obvious -- The NY Times is devoting enormous resources to going after Chris Christie. The Times has found its mark, and now just needs actual news and actual wrongdoing to take him out. As Drum describes it, No Smoking Guns Yet, But the Noose Is Tightening Around Chris Christie:
    The New York Times is pretty clearly expending a lot of resources on the various Chris Christie scandals. So far they haven't produced any smoking guns, but they're sure digging up some stuff that doesn't look good for Team Christie. First up is a look at the Christie political team, which was apparently obsessed with winning votes in Democratic-leaning towns. This wasn't because the votes themselves were all that critical to Christie's 2012 reelection campaign, but because winning in these places "would validate the governor’s argument that he would be the most broadly appealing Republican choice for president in 2016" ....
    After describing a couple of Times pieces that show no direct evidence of wrongdoing, just a tough politician, Drum concludes:

    The other day I tried to make the distinction between dislike of Chris Christie, and joining the media mob which eventually will turn on Republican candidates you like. I told you not to feed that beast. To defend Chris Christie:
    This is not about Chris Christie. It’s about any number of other Republican candidates who will be met with the same faux-outrage and media-led obsession a year from now as the 2016 field begins to define itself. Don’t feed the beast.
    It's getting worse, as the feds are piling on. Within days of Bridgegate, Eric Holder and the U.S. Attorney's Office were on the case.  Funny how quickly the feds move against a potential Republican contender. Now the feds are piling on some more by leaking that they are investigating this ad paid for with Sandy relief funds.  That ad, Jim Geraghty points out, was Approved by Obama Administration: Featuring a sitting Governor in tourism ads is completely routine. It gives a personal touch to the tourism campaign. Here are other examples (via Louise Mensch):

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will hold a press conference this morning at 11:00am, where he is expected to comment on the Bridgegate controversy. You can watch the press conference opening statement below. (Full transcript here)

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued a statement late Wednesday in response to the reports that a top staffer from his office and others were involved in controversial NJ lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. In his statement Wednesday, Christie said he was misled by a member of his staff and called the conduct “completely inappropriate and unsanctioned.” From News 12 New Jersey:
    “What I've seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions.”
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