The last 24 hours have become a Chris Christie watch: Will he or won’t he run for president? Did he close the door on any possibility? Would he do well among the GOP field?
All that talk, especially within the so-called Republican establishment, has made its way to radio show host Rush Limbaugh. On his Wednesday show, Limbaugh explained his theory about the “Draft Christie” movement.
“All of these people begging Christie to run: Who are they?” Limbaugh asked. “Now you’ve got voters, like the woman in the Q&A last night that Christie run — that, I think, is the exception. The people who are begging Christie to run are the same people begging Mitch Daniels to run: Republican establishment, the same people begging Paul Ryan to run.”
According to Limbaugh, that “Republican establishment” wants Christie to run because they seek a counter to more conservative candidates like Godfathers Pizza CEO Herman Cain, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
As for Christie, Limbaugh said his Tuesday night speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. raised a big red flag: Christie, he said, sounded like the last Republican presidential nominee.
“I heard a lot of John McCain in that speech,” Limbaugh said. “Well, maybe not a lot, but I heard enough to send up a red flag or two.” (RELATED: Conservative foreign policy experts praise Christie but want more specifics)
Later he elaborated on his theory behind the push for a Christie candidacy.
“Herman Cain is a conservative that worries them,” Limbaugh said. “Rick Perry is a conservative that worries them. Bachmann is a conservative that worries them. Santorum is a conservative that worries them. Reagan was a conservative that worried the Republican establishment. Christie is not.”
Author and columnist Ann Coulter said Christie should be graded on a curve since he was the governor of a blue state. Limbaugh took that premise into account, but asked if sending a blue-state governor to the White House is a chance worth taking.
“Now some people say, ‘Christie is more conservative than you think, Rush,’” Limbaugh continued. “’He was the governor of New Jersey. He has to say certain things. I mean, look at who the voting base is there: a bunch of lib Democrats. He’s got to work with a Democratic legislature in that state. I mean, he’s the governor of a liberal state; he’s got to say some things to appease those people. If he ever broke out of that, you’d see the genuine full-fledged 100-percent conservative Chris Christie.’
“OK, that’s fine if that’s what we want to do. Roll the dice, if that’s what we’re going to get when he breaks free of New Jersey.”