Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is trying to talk current Mayor Michael Bloomberg into endorsing Chris Christie for governor of New Jersey, and Bloomberg may be listening.
The endorsement is far from a sure thing, but a source familiar with the talks said that the billionaire mayor, still sore over Governor Jon Corzine's opposition to his congestion pricing plan last year, might be willing to jump into the fray to support Christie.
Last April, fearing that the plan would impose higher fees on New Jersey commuters, Corzine called it "outrageous."
Giuliani political advisor Anthony Carbonetti acknowledged said that "there are definitely conversations taking place" between Bloomberg and Giuliani.
"Rudy is supportive of both Mike and Chris and would love to see them get together" he said.
Although not as politically active in New Jersey as Giuliani, Bloomberg has waded into politics here before. Two months ago, Newark Mayor Cory Booker endorsed Bloomberg for reelection to a third term as mayor. Last year Bloomberg endorsed 5th District congressional candidate Dennis Shulman, a Democrat, and in April he held a fundraiser for Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who runs the powerful Hudson County Democratic Organization, along with his running mates. Both support strict gun control measures – a pet cause for Bloomberg.
Democrats say that guns will be an issue that Bloomberg may have a hard time looking past. State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), who is widely considered to be at or near the top of Corzine's shortlist for Lieutenant Governor, wondered aloud whether Christie's stances gun control and abortion would derail any potential endorsement.
"I would assume that Bloomberg would be really interested in knowing that the [Christie] doesn't even believe in the one handgun a month limit… Does anyone really need more than 12 guns in a year?' she said. "Combine that with a woman's right to choose, and I would guess that Mayor Bloomberg doesn't have a lot in common with Chris Christie."
Bloomberg – whose personal wealth dwarfs Corzine's — could provide Christie with fundraising help, which could go a long way towards the Republican raising the maximum he's allowed under the state's public financing program. Christie receives two-for-one matching funds, and has an expenditure limit of $10.9 million for the general election.