Lonegan says he won’t use Christie’s ties to Bush as a point of attack in GOP primary

On their way to tomorrow’s inauguration, Democrats are running past the Bush presidency as if it were the forgotten carcass of Commodus at the end of “Gladiator,” but they mean to at least sufficiently resuscitate what they see as thewreckage of the Bush years in order to makeit an issue for former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, should he land the GOP nomination for governor.

In the meantime, don’t expect Bush’s name to come up much in attack dog primary ads.

“His 21% approval is actually up five points from just before the election, a difference reflected in the fact that half of Republicans (50%) now approve of the president, while about a third disapprove (36%),” said Fairleigh Dickinson University pollster Peter Woolley. “Before the November election the numbers were reversed: half of Republicans disapproved of Bush and about a third approved (37%)."

Generally seen as Christie’s most formidable primary challenger due to money raised and organizing ability, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan said he doesn’t anticipate chastising Christie for his Bush ties.

“This is about the Democrats mismanagement of the economy and state government,” Lonegan told PolitickerNJ.com last Thursday evening in Freehold.

Bush appointed Christie U.S. Attorney following Christie’s aggressive team fundraising efforts on Bush’s behalf going back to 2000.

Thirty-five percent of voters say they are less likely to vote for Christie because he served in Bush’s administration, while 14% say more likely, according to a Monmouth University poll released last week. The same survey said the Bush link makes no difference to half the voters. Lonegan says he won’t use Christie’s ties to Bush as a point of attack in GOP primary