Hopefully, if he ever does, people will remember what a thoroughly disgraceful job he’s been doing running New Jersey.
This is the man who ran on a campaign of fiscal responsibility – lambasting Democratic incumbent John Corzine for wasteful spending while in the gubernatorial chair.
Yet how has Christie himself behaved?
- He’s surrounded himself with a larger administration than former governor Jon Corzine, costing the New Jersey taxpayer $440,000 more per year (while he’s simultaneously demanded cuts in every other government department.)
- And although a millionaire like former governor Corzine, Chris Christie is pocketing the $175,000 salary that Jon Corzine refused to.
- He shed 1,300 government jobs and cut $820 million from New Jersey’s schools.
- Simultaneously, he negated all those savings by allowing a tax bill to expire which would give New Jersey’s richest 2% a billion dollar tax cut.
“I’m taking responsibility. You want to take shots? Take shots at me.”Yet as soon as the news cameras start rolling, where does Chris Christie pass the buck?
"This is stuff the Obama administration should answer for. When President Obama comes back to New Jersey, he's going to have to explain to the people of New Jersey why he's depriving them of $400 million.”Similarly, he stood firm in support of his team - to a point.
“Am I happy about it? Of course not – but I’m not gonna fire somebody over this.”Yet a few days later, he did exactly that – canning State Education Commissioner Bret Schundler for ‘misleading him’ about the cause of the blunder.
Yet if Christie was really looking to find who was responsible for screwing up, he need only look in a mirror. Just days before the paperwork was due to the federal government, it had been completed – correctly – with the support of the New Jersey Education Association.
But the day the paperwork was due to be submitted, Christie’s administration scrapped the completed paperwork (which would have won the federal funding) and instead submitted a version that he claimed was not “compromised to achieve a contrived consensus among various affected special interest groups.”
It was also not “compromised” by the inclusion of the correct information, hence New Jersey loosing out on the funding.
If Christie’s administration hadn’t attempted a last-minute bait-and-switch, and submitted the previously agreed-upon application, this debacle would never have happened and our schools would be $400 million richer because of it.
"New Jerseyans deserve an honest accounting from Gov. Christie about what truly happened with this costly error," State Assembly speaker Sheila Oliver demanded. So far, she's still waiting.
The fact that he’s considered one of the ‘up and coming’ stars of the modern Republican Party - and a viable presidential candidate - reflects very badly on the GOP. They'd be best advised to do what I hope New Jersey will in 2013 - ditch this dead weight and find a competent candidate instead.