Attacks on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie from both Republicans and Democrats have already arisen even though he has said that he is not running for president. Reports that Christie is reconsidering his decision continue to surface.
Christie is known for his blunt, combative style. He has become a hero to many conservatives and a villain to many liberals by challenging teachers’ unions and other public sector workers.
On many occasions he has been asked to enter the race, and has repeatedly insisted that he would not run. Still in his first term as governor, Christie has said that he is not qualified to be president. Once he joked that he would have to commit suicide to convince people that he is not running.
In light of the many public and private appeals, Christie is reportedly reconsidering running for president. Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller reported on Monday that a reliable source said that potential Christie donors have been asked to prepare to appear in Trenton, N.J., on Thursday, in case Christie decides to make an announcement.
With reports of a potential run, both Republicans and Democrats have already begun their attacks on Christie.
On CBS' “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley twice said a Christie candidacy would bring “entertainment value” to the race.
“Certainly there will be tremendous entertainment value, especially if you like Don Rickles,” O'Malley said. Rickles was a standup comic in the 1950s-60s who was known for insulting hecklers in his audience.
Christie has a reputation for challenging audience members in town hall sessions in New Jersey. When a New Jersey woman asked him on a talk radio show why he puts his children in a private Catholic school, Christie became annoyed and sharply criticized the woman for asking the question.
“It's none of your business,” Christie rebuked. “I don't ask you where you send your kids to school; don't bother me about where I send mine.”
O'Malley also criticized Christie's gubernatorial record, saying, “When it comes to being effective at creating jobs, improving schools, and expanding opportunity, his record in New Jersey has not been a record of governing for effectiveness."
“His bond rating has been downgraded by two of the bond rating agencies, his unemployment in New Jersey is one of the higher unemployment rates in the country at 9.4 percent. Last year, New Jersey created no net new jobs and his schools, because of the choices he’s made to cut education funding, have actually been declining in their national ranking,” O’Malley declared.
The rotund Christie has also been criticized for his weight. Washington Post opinion writer Eugene Robinson advised Christie to “eat a salad and take a walk.” Liberal columnist Michael Kinsley wrote that Christie “is just too fat” to be president, in a column for Bloomberg.
“Unfortunately, the symbolism of Christie’s weight problem goes way past the issue of obesity itself. It is just a too-perfect symbol of our country at the moment, with appetites out of control and discipline near zilch,” Kinsley wrote.
Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick took a milder tone on NBC's “Meet the Press,” saying, “I like Chris. He's one of my favorites.” Still, Patrick also mentioned Christie's limited experience and the high unemployment rate in New Jersey.
From the conservative side, presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain said that Christie is too liberal to win the Republican nomination.
Christie favors an assault-weapon ban and civil unions for same-sex couples. He has said the climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels. He has also been criticized for appointing a Muslim to a New Jersey judgeship.
“I believe a lot of conservatives, once they know his positions ... they will not be able to support him,” Cain said.