WESTFIELD – The lead campaign strategist for Gov. Chris Christie told PolitickerNJ on Tuesday that, regarding plans for a potential Christie run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, inquiring minds will have to wait.
“I’m not doing any ’16 stuff on the record until the ’14 elections are over,” said Michael DuHaime, a partner at the public strategy firm Mercury Public Affairs, in a phone conversation from his Westfield office. “That’s just kind of a rule I’ve made for myself.”
DuHaime was the lead strategist for Christie’s victorious gubernatorial campaigns in 2009 and 2013. He also has experience at the national level, serving as the campaign manager of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid.
Referring to Christie’s present role as Republican Governors Association (RGA) chairman, DuHaime declined to go into detail about how previous lessons learned could result in a different outcome for Christie, another outspoken, Northeastern, white ethnic Catholic politician with moderate views on some issues.
“The governor is really focused on the ’14 elections. I don’t think any of the team should be undermining that by going out and talking about ’16,” said DuHaime, alluding to numerous competitive gubernatorial elections across the nation, including in states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Connecticut. “The RGA chairmanship didn’t come to him without some internal battles to figure out who the chairman would be. The other governors put their faith in [Christie]. He’s not going to undermine that by taking his eye off the ball.”