Published On: Mon, Aug 4th, 2014

Christie and Cuomo

What does New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie? Chris Christie is the head of the Republican Governors Association which has as it’s mission aiding incumbent Republican governors as well as Republican candidates for governor nationwide. However Christie has refused to extend and financial aid or other assistance to New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino. The question is why?

Why has Christie refused to aid a fellow Republican in a neighboring state against Democrat incumbent Andrew Cuomo who is mired in scandal over his handling of his own Moreland Commission. Not only is there a political scandal, a US Attorney is also looking into the possibility that federal crimes were committed.  The US Attorney was very firm  is his letter to Governor Cuomo regarding the Moreland Commission, which said in part: “We have reason to believe a number of commissioners recently have been contacted about the commission’s work, and some commissioners have been asked to issue public statements characterizing events and facts regarding the commission’s operation.”

“To the extent anyone attempts to influence or tamper with a witness’s recollection of events relevant to our investigation, including the recollection of a commissioner or one of the commission’s employees, we request that you advise our office immediately, as we must consider whether such actions constitute obstruction of justice or tampering with witnesses that violate federal law.”

With all this raining down on the head of Governor Cuomo, why has Governor Christie refused to act? Was there some sort of agreement between the two governors? A non-aggression pact which would keep Cuomo from piling on Chris Christie over his “Bridgegate” scandal, while Christie agreed to stay out of New York’s gubernatorial contest? It is a puzzle.

New York Republicans have noticed Christie’s reluctance to take on Cuomo and they consider it a betrayal. The issue just reminds Republicans of Chris Christie’s climbing Barack Obama’s leg as they toured parts of New Jersey ravaged by hurricane Sandy just prior to the election in 2012.

Christie’s bromance with Obama certainly did not help Mitt Romney in the election. Republicans were apoplectic over the optics making Obama appear presidential.

Astorino supporters such as Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R-Rensselaer) are equally irate – “Christie stabbing Astorino in the back irks every GOP voter in New York.” Former New York governor George Pataki was also not happy:

“In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Pataki said he was dumbfounded that Christie, New Jersey’s GOP governor who also heads the Republican Governors Association, said last month he won’t help Rob Astorino’s campaign in New York because his organization doesn’t “invest in lost causes.”

“To me, it’s incomprehensible and disappointing,” said Pataki, a Republican who served three terms as New York governor.”

Rob Astorino also has an opinion on Christie’s words and actions:Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino today shot back at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s contention that Astorino has little chance against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying that Christie should step down as head of the Republican Governors Association if he cut a deal with Cuomo over the George Washington Bridge scandal.

None of this contretemps is likely to endear Chris Christie to conservative primary voters in 2016. Conservative Republicans still believe in Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican.” When Chris Christie disparages a particularly fine Republican such as Rob Astorino, he is insulting the base of the GOP and Ronald Reagan himself.

There will be new polls coming out shortly that reflect the damage that has been done to the Cuomo Campaign by the scandal. If the polls indicate that Rob Astorino will have a shot at upsetting Governor Cuomo in the November election, what will Chris Christie do then?


About the Author

- Paul Bianco, retired from a career in sales, now spends his spare time as a gadfly on the many political blogs. Paul says he is just going through a phase, but that phase seems to have lasted two decades. Paul's conservative political philosophy was formed well before conservative talk radio and Fox News came along. Paul remembers the days when conservatives like William F Buckley Jr were voices in the wilderness "standing athwart history, yelling stop!" From time to time Paul contributes some of the insights he has gained from observing politics for so many years, and hopes that readers will be entertained and perhaps even enlightened.