New Jersey’s brash and outspoken Gov. Chris Christie is expected to officially launch his presidential campaign today, making him the 13th contender in the crowded GOP field. Christie will launch this effort in his hometown of Livingston, New Jersey, at Livingston High School, where he was class president for three years.
In 2011, Christie was widely considered a leading presidential contender. The Koch Brothers were early supporters, and David Koch was “inspired” by him, describing him as a “hero” and “my kind of guy.” Christie didn’t end up running in that campaign cycle and backed Mitt Romney instead. Still, even after his lackluster and Christie-centric speech at the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa, Christie, though not embraced by the conservative wing of the GOP, was seen as a strong potential candidate for the 2016 race.
Then in 2013 Christie became entangled in the Bridgegate Scandal. An internal investigation cleared the New Jersey governor of any direct connection to the politically motivated traffic jam (two political aides took the fall), but he could not shake suspicions that he used his office (or allowed his underlings to use his office) to inconvenience thousands of people in order to punish political foes. More importantly, the episode raised questions about Christie’s dealings in other matters and prompted investigations that are still under way.
Now Christie consistently ranks toward the back of the pack in polls, and the Koch brothers have found other “heroes.” However, as Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum put it, he “could maybe catch on if something really lucky happens.” But it might have to be really, really lucky.
From Bridgegate to bullying to battles with journalists, here is what you need to know about Christie:
- Christie is currently waging 23 court battles to keep state documents secret. What does the New Jersey governor not want you to know?
- His Social Security proposal is cruel and callous.
- Here’s a look at his bridge scandal, explained. (In short: Emails indicate that a senior aide ordered a nasty traffic jam in Fort Lee as political payback.)
- He has denied a bridge for political revenge nine times.
- Good news! He actually believes in global warming 🙂
- That said, he also believes parents should have a “choice” when it comes to vaccines.
- Check out this audio of Christie letting loose at a 2011 Koch Brothers confab.
- Here’s how the right will try to destroy him.
- Christie once endorsed the use of cruel pig crates. Jon Stewart proceeded to skewer him on the Daily Show.
- Mother Jones DC Bureau Chief David Corn spoke with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews about what Christie’s bridge scandal means for 2016.
- Here are some reasons why Christie will NOT be our 45th president.
- Watch eight videos of Christie yelling, belittling, and name-calling.