New Jersey governor Chris Christie last month announced that he and the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) would not be supporting gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino in his bid to upset Governor Andrew Cuomo. Christie referred to Astorino’s campaign as a “lost cause.” Since then, Cuomo has suffered a massive hit with the Moreland scandal, something Christie cowardly has refused to talk about.
Now, fellow Republicans are firing back, with one Assemblyman saying ‘Christie is stabbing Astorino in the back,’ and a former Republican of New York calling Christie’s lack of action “incomprehensible and disappointing.”
Former Governor George Pataki (R) spoke with the Daily News about Christie’s lack of action, and worse, his denigration of Astorino’s campaign:
In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Pataki said he was dumbfounded that Christie, New Jersey’s GOP governor who also heads the Republican Governors Association, said last month that he won’t help Rob Astorino’s campaign in New York because his organization doesn’t “invest in lost causes.”
“To me, it’s incomprehensible and disappointing,” said Pataki, a Republican who served three terms as New York governor. “The RGA is a very important organization,” he said, noting that Christie’s responsibility as the group’s head is to help elect Republican governors across the nation. “At the very least, you don’t want them denigrating his efforts.”
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R) spoke with the New York Post:
“Christie stabbing Astorino in the back irks every GOP voter in New York,’’ Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R-Rensselaer), a key Astorino backer, said Sunday.
Astorino, his aides and even many Democrats believe Christie, mired in the Bridgegate scandal, has a peace pact with Cuomo under which neither will criticize the other.
During Christie’s Bridgegate scandal, Governor Cuomo remained silent and withheld any criticism despite the incident involving a top appointee to the NY Port Authority expressing that he thought laws had been broken. Cuomo’s Republican opponent Rob Astorino believes there is something more behind the mutual silence between the governors, something that is preventing Christie from supporting his candidacy.
Peter Roff at U.S. News & World Report adds another layer to the lack of support coming from the RGA – three major consultants who also run “a well-heeled and well-funded group called ‘Republicans for Cuomo.'”
There’s little doubt Christie’s consultants are helping drive the decision-making process. It’s what consultants do. Interestingly enough though, one of the consultants closest to the New Jersey governor – Mike DuHaime – is a former managing partner at a firm called Mercury Public Affairs, which, Kerry Pickett recently reported for Breitbart.com’s Big-Government, “has been paid $246k in consulting fees by the RGA since December of 2013.”
DuHaime has quite a pedigree. As chief strategist, he guided Christie to victory in his first race for governor. And he headed up former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential bid – which probably has nothing to do with the fact that Giuliani, who could be a tremendous help to Astorino, recently began telling people he would not make an endorsement in the New York governor’s race. On the surface that’s not such a big deal. Consultants at the top of the game tend to attract high profile candidates – and husband that resource as best they can for as long as they can.
What might be a big deal is that three other Mercury partners – Mike McKeon, Tom Doherty and Kieran Mahoney (who all at one time or another worked for former New York GOP Gov. George Pataki) – are, according to well-placed GOP insiders in New York, running a well-heeled and well-funded group called “Republicans for Cuomo.”
So, to break it down you have, within the same firm, money coming in from the RGA to help elect Republicans to governorships across the country, the chief strategist for the RGA chairman, and three partners said be overseeing an effort to re-elect a Democratic governor in Albany. To call that merely curious is an understatement.
Christie reiterated late last week that he was abandoning Astorino, saying “it’s on the candidate” to improve his numbers.
In the meantime, he has reserved the right to reverse his stance if polling changes, seemingly unaware that assistance from the RGA could facilitate that change for Astorino.
While Christie is stabbing Astorino in the back and refusing to discuss the Moreland scandal, feel free to watch this video regarding Morelandgate, a montage of intense media coverage of the corruption.