On Tuesday, former Virginia Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli said embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should resign as chairman of the powerful Republican Governors Association because the scandals Christie is dealing with may tarnish the GOP brand and make him an ineffective surrogate.
Christie was inaugurated Tuesday after revelations that his top aides caused a massive traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge last year seemingly to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, NJ for failing to endorse Christie’s reelection bid. Soon after, his administration was accused of attempting to withhold Sandy relief funds from a mayor unless she agreed to projects that would benefit Christie’s allies.
Appearing on CNN, Cuccinelli said that Christie’s scandals may make it difficult for him to represent the GOP brand as he travels the country stumping for governors – and meeting high-profile donors that may help him in his potential presidential bid. Cuccinelli said Christie may “get some counsel” from other governors “along those lines.”
“I think just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races, it makes sense for him to step aside in that role,” Cuccinelli said, according to The Hill. “He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman. And that doesn’t mean any of the charges, political or otherwise, are substantive or not, it doesn’t matter; perception is reality.”
There is no love lost between Christie and Cuccinelli. Christie did not campaign for Cuccinelli in the waning days of the 2013 gubernatorial campaign even though Christie was cruising to a landslide reelection and Cuccinelli was within striking distance of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who ended up winning the election last November.