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January 15, 2014

Opposing Chris Christie Should Be A Matter Of Principle For Conservatives

“We all hate ObamaCare, we just disagree on tactics about how to get rid of it”. That was the cry of the anti-shutdown caucus back in September and October. But like most things you hear from Republicans, it was a lie.

Not all Republicans hate ObamaCare, some even implemented parts of it. One of the Republican governors to do so is Chris Christie (who also happens to be head of the Republican Governors Association).

So why should Republicans, let alone conservatives, defend Christie in his current times of troubles? I mean, shouldn’t we be happy to see a turncoat wounded in his quest to become the GOP nominee? Of course not says the establishment. You see when Ted Cruz was being attacked by the media many in the GOP not only refused to defend him, they rushed to join the attackers. But now that a member in good standing of the moderate wing is in trouble, well teamwork demands we all come to his aid.

To that I say what General Anthony McAuliffe said at the Battle of the Bulge…”Nuts”.

There are two basic reasons I don’t want to see Christie be the GOP nominee…his support for immigration amnesty and his acceptance of ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. For me, either of those is disqualifying. Both? It’s intervention time.

If the GOP is going to run in 2016 against ObamaCare it cannot have a nominee who is at all tainted by the program. To put Christie at the head of the charge against ObamaCare would be as stupid as, well, putting Mitt Romney there.

What I wrote back in April of 2010 about Romney applies to Christie today.

Even if Romney does say he opposes the individual mandate, he still has said he'd take credit for Obama's health care "accomplishment". Given his background with the issue and weird statements about the law since its passage, Romney is simply damaged goods when it comes to health care.

He might still be able to come up with a convincing narrative to explain the differences between MassCare and ObamaCare as well as his role in the former. But then the debate will be about Mitt and what he thought then vs. now and whether he can be reliable going forward. Meanwhile the focus will be off Obama and the damage done by this health care scheme.

Republicans need the issue to be a clean and clear choice...we have to nominate someone who was opposed to ObamaCare from the start. Only then will the focus stay on Obama and what he has wrought.

The same is true for Christie but it’s actually much worse. RomneyCare was the forerunner of ObamaCare but at least Romney wasn’t directly tied to a major piece of ObamaCare the way Christie is.

Maybe Christie can explain it away by saying things like “well, what was good for NJ wasn’t great for the country so they aren’t the same.”

How did that work for Mitt?

As the saying goes, “if you’re explaining, you’re losing”. That’s true but it’s even more of a problem if what you’re explaining is why what you did in the past will be different from what you’ll do in the future, especially on such a key issue.

If you’re a bitter ender clinging to the idea that RomneyCare didn’t inhibit Romney’s ability to go after ObamaCare, don’t take my word that it did. Take the word of one of Romney’s biggest cheerleaders, Jennifer Rubin.

Hillary Clinton may have a Mitt Romney problem. It is not merely a function of her wealth and isolation from the real world. (She and Bill Clinton are treated like royalty and operate behind a phalanx of security.) Rather, she is uniquely unable to criticize potential opponents on points on which they may be the most vulnerable.

In other words, Romney felt constrained in going after the president on Obamacare and was personally unable to capture the lower- and middle-class voters most hurt by Obama’s policies.


Now it can be told, I guess.

I understand why Christie is an attractive candidate to moderate Republicans but to conservatives? He’s should be looked upon as fatally flawed. Instead of running to his aid, conservatives should do what Republicans did when Cruz was attacked by the media and Democrats….join the mob and grab a brick to throw at him (metaphorically of course).

You can talk about a “big tent” all you want but if it’s big enough to include people who endorse a significant part of ObamaCare, you don’t have a tent, you have an open-air bazaar where everything is negotiable, including core principles.

If at this point you are already thinking, “but Christie’s the kind of moderate Republican that won’t scare voters and has a record of winning in a blue state”. I say, how did ”but he’s electable!” work out for you last time?”

The GOP will get in bed with anyone, even if they embrace ObamaCare but there’s no reason conservatives should. If there’s no principle worth defending, no hill worth dying on (I prefer hills to fight on myself), what’s the difference between a conservative and a Republican? I understand there are conservatives who will support amnesty. But ObamaCare? If opposing every inch of ObamaCare’s implementation isn’t a core principle for conservatives, what is?

If two years out from Iowa and New Hampshire you are already willing to settle or worse yet, not do everything you can to strangle the great Moderate Hope, who embraces the part of ObamaCare the Democrats are boasting the most about, in its cradle, then how can we ever move the GOP or the country to the right?

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posted by DrewM. at 10:17 AM

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