Ken Cuccinelli, the failed Republican gubernatorial candidate for the 2013 Virginia governorship, advised sitting New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie to step down as head of the Republican Governors Association following the George Washington Bridge scandal, claiming that “perception is reality.”
Cuccinelli said this during CNN’s “Crossfire” after host Van Jones asked whether it’s “fair for [Christie] to stay in that role — that key role for your party — while he’s going through all this.” Christie has taken tremendous heat in the past two weeks after internal emails revealed that high-ranking officials in his office conspired to close traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge as part of a political payback scheme.
The former gubernatorial candidate suggested that Christie’s tarnished reputation could hurt Republican chances to pick up and maintain offices in the future. “I think — just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races — it makes sense for him to step aside in that role,” Cuccinelli said. “He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman.”
“And that doesn’t mean any of the charges, political or otherwise, are substantive or not,” he hastened to add. “But perception is reality.”
Left-wing firebrand Van Jones, however, was out for blood. “People have said about Chris Christie this whole time, ‘It’s all about Chris Christie, it’s a party of one,’” he asserted. “Why would a Chris Christie who cares about Republicans — who cares about people like yourself, who are running for office — why wouldn’t he step down?”
“Well, frankly I think this is still relatively new and he may well step down,” Cuccinelli said. “I have no idea what his thinking is on that. And he may get some council from some other governors along those lines.
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