The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, is calling on Governor Chris Christie to step down from his position as the head of the Republican Governors Association. The editorial board chastised Christie for what they perceived as a “great” move for Christie’s career that could severely damage the state.
The Star-Ledger’s editorial board contends that nothing good could come of Christie’s trying to divide his time between New Jersey and campaigning nationally for other governors. During the many trips Christie is expected to make to promote Republican candidates across the country, the editorial argues, he will be working on everything but making New Jersey a better place to live. This will be “terrible for New Jersey,” they state, because of the many problems facing the state currently–a number of which Christie is directly responsible.
The Ledger notes that they are not alone in wanting Christie out of the national organization. Last week, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, appearing on CNN’s Crossfire, called for Christie to step down because the many scandals surrounding his tenure could give the entire Republican Party the appearance of condoning the alleged improprieties. The editorial does not comment on Cuccinelli’s opinion–perhaps because its storied history of left-of-center politics makes it ill-suited to weigh in on what is best for the Republican Party. Instead, it notes that “our concern is closer to home.” Even if Christie could help the Republican Party nationally, the editorial argues, he would have to do so at the expense of the people of New Jersey.
The editorial argues the problem of the RGA chairmanship as a distraction is exacerbated by the extraordinary challenges facing Christie today, which far exceed the usual work on a governor’s plate.
The paper blasts the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort as a “mess”–and that’s without taking into consideration the Dawn Zimmer allegations of extortion with Sandy relief funds–and notes that, under Christie, New Jersey has become the least economically solvent state in the union, and Christie will have to propose a budget with the legislature next month. Then there are the prominent scandals–a legislative investigation that has subpoenaed almost his entire staff and a scandal that threatens to draw in congressional attention. Also, there are the shocking accusations that have nothing to do with the George Washington Bridge, like Olympian Carl Lewis’s allegation of bullying and Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage’s allegation that Christie closed his city’s Motor Vehicle Commission office for political retribution.
The paper wryly notes that “stepping down would deal another blow to his battered hopes for a presidential run in 2016,” and it has run editorials before expressing a certain bitterness about the potential for Christie to become a presidential candidate with a shot at the general election.