Coming off big Republican losses this week, a veteran GOP political operative who managed the countywide efforts for the Camden County Republican Committee said Gov. Chris Christie can’t stand up to the Democratic Party bosses in his own state and consequently shouldn’t be believed when he says he would stare down Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Steve Kush organized a protest of Christie on the day before Election Day and blamed the tough-talking 2016 presidential candidate for NJ Republicans losses on Tuesday.
“I’ve been getting calls from Republicans in South Jersey and beyond since protesting Governor Christie on his visit to Camden the day before the election. All of the calls were to encourage me to continue to speak about the way he abandoned Republicans in this election,” said Kush, managing partner of Sandia Strategies. “I wanted to take the time to calm down and analyze the post-election destruction of southern New Jersey’s GOP because it’s hard to speak ill of someone you once proudly served, once believed in and defended to fellow Republicans for years.
“It’s those Republicans I’ve defended the governor to that I owe an apology, they were right, I was wrong,” Kush added. “As his South Jersey regional political director in 2009, to ensure Christie had the line in every county in the primary I even went so far as to bully a county chair into awarding that line. Now I’m left wondering why I fought so hard for him.”
Kush maintained that every electoral loss in South Jersey, including that of Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi, (R-1) came courtesy of Christie forgetting about Republicans in the southern end of the state.
“His lack of caring about South Jersey trickled down to his team,” Kush said. “I remember earlier this year after a macroburst storm ripped through southern New Jersey, leaving hundreds of thousands without power, many for up to a week, he was nowhere to be found. A local mayor asked me to reach out, I did, and I was immediately told by a key staffer of the governor’s that they were ‘sick and tired of South Jersey’s whining.’ That attitude is only part of the problem.
“The Republican chairman in Camden County invited the Governor multiple times to speak at fundraisers, and through his staff he declined,” Kush continued. “However, four times during the election cycle the governor found the time to stand with members of the Democrat political machine and even signed a fast-tracked paramedic bill that benefits the Democratic Party Boss, the same political Party Boss who has been described as a key fundraiser for the very Political Action Committee that has been responsible for attacking Republicans throughout New Jersey.
“Bottom line, after looking at all the facts, the blame for Republican electoral losses fall squarely on Governor Christie and his team. The attitude toward South Jersey by his staff, coupled with the governor’s cozy relationship with the South Jersey Democratic Party Boss added up to the perfect recipe for electoral defeat,” Kush said. “His defenders need to stop blaming the map, maps don’t vote, and my fellow Republicans who have quietly complained about the governor for years need to stand up for themselves. As to Mr. Christie, he should suspend his vanity presidential campaign immediately because his unwillingness to stand up to a local political party boss proves Americans can’t expect him to stand up to Vladimir Putin.”