Christie says he won’t abandon NJ’s Republican Party after he leaves office
Chris Christie still has about 20 months left before his term as the governor of New Jersey expires, but when it does, he said he'll be more than happy to lend his support to future Republicans looking to hold public office in the state.
If, that is, they want his help. Christie's approval ratings in the state are at all-time lows.
During Wednesday's "Ask The Governor" program on New Jersey 101.5, Christie said he is proud to be a member of the GOP and will be happy to offer advice and support the party's candidates.
"I've done it all my life. I've always been a Republican from my first vote for Ronald Reagan when I turned 18 in 1980," Christie told host Eric Scott. "I believe in the Republican Party and I love this state, I mean I've lived here my whole life."
The governor said that what he plans to avoid, however, is becoming involved in disputes within the GOP or over statewide issues after he leaves office.
"I will try to be the type of former governor who doesn't get into every dispute. I don't have any interest in doing that, but if there are things I feel that are important, I'll speak out and if there are candidates that I feel strongly about in my party helping and they want my help, I'm sure I'll be happy to help them," Christie said.
So far, Christie said, no prospective candidates have come to him for help, but the governor said with the next gubernatorial election more than a year away, there's a good chance that members of the GOP who plan to run for office have yet to make their intentions known.
Earlier this month, a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll showed that Christie’s low approval numbers dropped even lower after he endorsed Donald Trump in the race for president.
According to the poll, one word stood out above others when Garden State voters were asked to describe Christie.
“That word is bully, it is offered the most often, followed by the word arrogant,” Krista Jenkins, the poll director New Jersey 101.5. “A few of the less caustic and downright positive words that were mentioned by more than just a few include things like good, OK, bad, disappointing and aggressive.”
The governor said that with the exception of the GOP and Democratic conventions this summer, there won't be much activity in terms of campaigning in advance of the 2017 primary election in New Jersey. Christie said many people in the state don't want to be inundated with political campaigns so far ahead of time.
Christie believes that many possible candidates are still keeping their intentions private for now, but if and when they ask for his help, he'll be ready.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.