Gov. Chris Christie’s back and forth flap with a reporter on MSNBC in the aftermath of Winter Storm Jonas and his denial of significant damage wrought by the storm have one Republican member of the New Jersey State Assembly reexamining his endorsement of Christie for president.
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) of Hillsborough, a possible 2017 candidate for governor, looked askance at Christie less than one week before the Iowa caucus, where the New Jersey governor’s Republican presidential candidacy is struggling for traction. The governor is performing better in New Hampshire, his firewall state, where the primary is scheduled for February 9th.
Ciattarelli stopped short of withdrawing his support from Christie, but offered the following, two-pronged statement.
“There are a number of quality candidates on the Republican side, so the next few months will be interesting,” said the assemblyman. “All along, I’ve felt that Christie becoming President would mean good things for New Jersey, so he has had my endorsement. That said, some of his comments over the past few days give me pause.
“Based on his comments, I’m considering reconsidering,” Ciattarelli added. “When it comes to endorsements, however, I’m under no illusions of self-importance.”
At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire earlier this week, when needled by a student about why he was campaigning instead of in New Jersey for the aftermath of Storm Jonas, Christie asked if she expected him to go clean up the storm with a mop. Yesterday, he apologized for making what he said was a joke.