New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday evening that he’s too busy running for re-election to have a beer and make amends with Sen. Rand Paul in Washington, D.C. But on Thursday, the governor will travel across the country to Las Vegas, Nevada.
Christie, a potential 2016 Republican presidential contender, will attend the KIPP School Summit to discuss education. Later, he will attend a private fundraiser to raise money for his gubernatorial re-election campaign hosted by major Republican donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
The fundraiser is for his re-election campaign, but Christie is handily beating his Democratic opponent, Barbara Buono, in both fundraising and the polls, with June and July polls showing Christie with, at minimum, a 30 point lead. The visit likely does double duty for a potential presidential hopeful: Nevada is one of the states that holds an early presidential nominating contest, and the Adelsons were huge donors to Republican presidential candidates in 2012.
Another likely 2016 Republican hopeful who has visited the Silver State? Kentucky Sen. Paul, with whom Christie said he had no time to meet because he was busy with his re-election campaign.
The two have been publicly sparring for the past week, ever since the New Jersey Governor called the libertarian approach to foreign policy “dangerous” at a forum in Colorado last week.
On Wednesday, Paul offered an olive branch, saying it was time for the two to “kiss and make up” and inviting Christie to “patch things up” over a beer in Washington, D.C. But Christie was having none of it, and said on the radio later Wednesday evening: “I’m running for re-election in New Jersey. I don’t really have time for that at the moment.”
But Christie does have time to go to Las Vegas — and in the summer, no less — something the Governor of a state with rival gambling city Atlantic City once called “stupid.”
“There is no reason people should go to Las Vegas in the summer. Why would you go to the middle of the desert in the summer?” Christie asked in September 2011. “You’d have to be stupid to do that.”