Going from being the darling of conservative commentator Ann Coulter to winning the affection of HBO “Real Time” host Bill Maher is quite a feat. But for Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, praise from Democrats is becoming a regular thing.
On Wednesday’s broadcast of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, “Hardball” host Chris Matthews, author of “Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero,” had some kind words for the popular Christie.
“Well, the man has style,” Matthews said. “And I think most people in New Jersey would say, as Peggy Noonan said in her column right before the election, he will be popular in New Jersey. He won’t be so popular in Republican Party circles because he did seem to help the president there a bit. Although Nate Silver and others don’t think it was the reason he won or anything.”
“But I do think he has style. And I know in Philadelphia where I keep in touch, and South Jersey, they love him. Regular people in my family and they’re very regular people —they like him because that ‘at-ey-tude’ — as we say in Philly, we pronounce it that way — ‘at-ey-tude.’”
“And the fact he is able to tell somebody on a call-in show ‘it’s none of your business where my kids go to school,’ people really like that attitude,” Matthews said. “They’re sick of politicians being so politically correct and careful. If you can occasionally show real personality, they love you. That was Romney’s problem. The sense the lights are on but is there anybody there? Whereas this guy, this it big guy in so many ways, you know he’s always there. Spontaneity — leaders have to be three things. They have to have a mission, a motive in life, we’ll find out what his is. They have to have passion, this guy has got that. And they got to have spontaneity, and this guy has got spontaneity. You wake him up in the morning, he’ll tell you something. And I think that’s what people want to have in a politician.”
Former aides to failed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have sought to blame Christie for President Barack Obama’s re-election. After having been a high-profile surrogate for Romney for much of the campaign, Christie spent the week before election day dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy and publicly embraced Obama when the president came to visit New Jersey.
As for Christie’s political aspirations beyond New Jersey, Matthews said that his pro-life stance was one could be his winning ticket for the nomination.
“He’s pro-life, too,” Matthews added. “Don’t forget, he’s pro-life. That’s the ticket of admission to a Republican nomination for president. If you’re not, you’re not. If you are, you’re a possibility.”