Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe does not think he could support New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie for president in 2016, saying he blames him for President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012.
“I’d have a hard time supporting Chris Christie,” Inhofe said in an interview with The Oklahoman.
Asked: “What about the talk that for the Republicans to win they’re going to have to find someone who has crossover appeal like Christie does?” Inhofe dismissed that logic.
“I can’t think of a time in the history of my association with the Republican Party when that debate hasn’t gone on … I’m of the school that you’ve got to show a distinction between Democrats and Republicans. And in order to have the base energized, you’ve got to show that the party stands for something. Christie I still hold responsible for … the re-election of Obama,” he said.
Inhofe clarified that he was referring to “the way he handled” relief following Hurricane Sandy, which struck did a lot of damage in New Jersey. Christie repeatedly appeared with Obama touring the state in the days before the 2012 presidential election.
Inhofe suggested his fellow Republican in the Senate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, might be a better potential option. He said he preferred Rubio to another member of the chamber who appears to be harboring presidential ambitions: Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
“I like them both but probably Rubio because of the length of time he’s been in this thing and the experience he’s had in Florida. I agree that we might need to find a viable candidate outside this town [Washington, D.C.]. But they’re kind of considered to be outside this town,” he said.