Christie channels the public with anti-Congress tirades
Gov. Chris Christie's latest presidential campaign strategy is relentlessly criticizing Democrats and Republicans in Congress. But is it working?
Political pundits said Christie might be onto something with that plan because it’s tapping into public sentiment.
According to poll results from the Monmouth University Polling Institute, the American public has a lot of negativity when it comes to Congress.
“In polling in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina we asked likely Republican voters what they thought of the Republican leaders in Congress and two-thirds of them in every state said that they were unhappy with what their own leaders were doing in Congress," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Murray said with so much negativity directed toward Congress, Christie could be on the right path.
"Chris Christie bashing Congress and bashing his own party leadership in Congress puts him in the mainstream of people who are going out in these early primary voting states,” Murray said.
Some recent examples of Christie’s anti-Congress comments include:
- “I think that the Republican Congress has proven itself to be completely ineffectually and that’s not just about the leadership, it’s about all of them.” - "The Sean Hannity Show" on Oct. 14
- “The entire Congress is dysfunctional. That’s what the American people are upset about.” - "The Michael Medved Show" on Oct. 13
- “People are sick of the whole Game of Thrones routine in Washington, D.C. They're sick of these guys just caring about who gets what title. And what big office. And the best table at the restaurant in Washington, D.C. what they like is for them to actually do something that they promised to do.” - "Fox News Live" on Oct. 9
“This goes back to the roots of where Chris Christie really became a national figure when he gave a speech at the Reagan National Library where he targeted Congress and Republicans in Congress and well as Democrats saying, ‘The system is broken. Look to New Jersey for the kind of bipartisan solutions that are available,'” said Brigid Harrison, political science professor at Montclair State University.
That argument was and is very popular and it helped catapult Christie into the national spotlight, Harrison explained.
Another anti-Congress statement made by Christie:
- “Everybody loves their titles down there: Mr. chairman this, Mr. subcommittee chairman that. Who cares? The American people are so tired of it and they've been tired of this Congress when Democrats were in control, when it was a split Congress and now Republicans are in control.” Fox News on Oct. 7
“A large number of Republicans are so angry that they’re supporting Donald Trump,” Murray said. “Chris Christie realizes that you’ve got to tap into that anger somehow without taking on Trump directly. When he knows the vast majority of those early primary state voters also hate the republican leadership in congress, it’s a sound strategy.”
According to Real Clear Politics, which averages recent national polls, only 13 percent of Americans approved of the job Congress was doing.
Kevin McArdle has covered the State House for New Jersey 101.5 news since 2002. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter at @kevinmcardle1.