x

Politics

Iowans Rally’ Round Christie Bid

DES MOINES, Iowa — Republican presidential Chris Christie got a big boost in Iowa Sept. 29 when six major Republican donors and activists wooed by other GOP candidates declared they were sticking with the New Jersey governor despite his lag in the polls.

The announcement from the big-money, longtime supporters was a blow to other Presidential candidates including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, who have been hustling to win backers in the state after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s departure from the race.

“We heard from a variety of (candidates),” said agricultural businessman Bruce Rastetter, who was careful not to criticize any of the other contenders. “It was who you can envision being president and … able to stop the dysfunctionality in Washington.”

Christie won support from six of the seven Iowa Republicans who flew to New Jersey four years ago to urge him to run in the 2012 race — the seventh does not plan to endorse.

Christie said he had no regrets about not taking the group up on their suggestion to run then but acknowledged that this time around there “was a lot of shopping to do. He said he simply kept talking to these backers to keep their support.

Christie joked that he offered “flowers, candy, wine — you know, all the traditional wooing things.”

Four years ago, Christie was considered a rising star who could flourish in a GOP field full of relatively little known candidates. This time around Christie has more political baggage, like the George Washington Bridge scandal — and heavy competition.

The primary race is packed with nationally known elected officials like Bush, the former Florida governor; Rubio, a Florida senator, and a number of popular outsiders, including surprise front-runner Donald Trump.

Many of the other candidates have sought support from this Iowa group, considered a powerful set of establishment Republicans.

Bush attended a summer party hosted by Rastetter, as well as an agriculture summit Rastetter put on earlier this year. Real estate developer Denny Elwell said six candidates sought his endorsement, but he felt most comfortable with Christie.

“Even though he’s not the leader, we feel like he should be the leader,” Elwell said. “I think we’ve got a lot of good candidates, but Christie is really our choice.”

Real estate developer Gary Kirke said that he had been concerned that the bridge story may hurt Christie, but said that it has gone away.

Former political aides of Christie were charged with helping plot lane closures on an approach to the world’s busiest bridge as payback against a Democratic mayor who didn’t support Christie’s re-election campaign. Christie has long denied he knew about it, and no evidence has emerged to suggest he did.

Kirke added that the field remained fluid enough that Christie could still rise. “Nobody else has caught on fire,” he said. “He’s a proven successful guy.”

Christie’s backers think his chances are improving after strong debate performances and with Walker and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry out of the race. Candidates are rushing to lock up Walker’s former supporters, with Christie, Bush and Rubio all touting endorsements from onetime Walker fans.

This marks Christie’s ninth visit to the leadoff caucus state this year. Christie, who has focused more heavily on New Hampshire, has spent less time here than many other contenders, though he put in a marathon day at the Iowa State Fair in August and has a well-regarded team in the state.

Rastetter, who hosted a town hall event with Christie Sept. 29, said he hoped to get Christie in front of more Iowans. And Christie pledged he would be campaigning heavily here, saying that by the February caucuses “you’re going to be tired of seeing me.”

(CATHERINE LUCEY)

RELATED

ASTORIA – New York State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris joined the Museum of the Moving Image’s (MoMI) annual gala on December 1 to announce $5 million in state funding he secured to advance the Museum’s educational work in film, television, and digital media.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Mission…To Tunisia Part 2 – A TNH Documentary by Clelia Charissis (Video)

The coveted exotic beauty of Tunisia is revealed by the 2nd episode of our Mission…To Tunisia – A TNH Documentary.

NICE — French writer Dominique Lapierre, who was celebrated for his novels about the World War II struggle to liberate Paris and depicting a life of hardship in a Kolkata slum, has died.

MOMBASA — Scientists around the world are warning governments who will be gathering in Montreal this week for the United Nations biodiversity summit to not repeat past mistakes and are urging officials to “avoid trade-offs” between people and conservation needs in a report Monday.

TRIPOLIS - Over 200 projects are included in the Comprehensive Development Plan for the Region of the Peloponnese for 2030, totalling 5.

ATHENS – A ‘Virtual Assistance’ service for the general public has been launched in 85 countries by the Foreign Ministry of Greece, including in all 126 Greek consular locations, according to an announcement.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.