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Let Chris be Christie

Mark Levin has a Facebook post that takes a critical look at some comments New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made in his appearance on This Week this past Sunday. Levin is concerned that Christie is soft on immigration and Obamacare.

“Regarding the former, he sounds like John McCain three years ago. ‘Commonsense path to citizenship.’ Regarding the latter, the cost of joining with the other states in challenging the health care monstrosity is minimal. That’s a poor excuse.”

Democrats and the left in New Jersey are throwing absolutely everything they can at Christie to try and blunt some of the momentum America’s Best Governor™ has been rolling up at their expense.  Remember Momentum [p] = Mass [m] X Velocity [v].  So with Christie’s considerable mass*, Dems are going to have to use a lot of force to slow him down. With all due respect to Mark Levin, our side shouldn’t be helping.

* We kid, governor. We kid because we love.

This week, Democrats produced a bogus report on next year’s budget situation, 11 months out, that claims the budget gap next year will be almost as large as this year’s $11 billion.  But the report assumes that Christie will allow all the funding he cut this year to be reinstated next year, plus allow for additional spending in each program.  Christie is calling BS.

“The new bar is set. The place to reduce from is where we are now,” he says, essentially telling Democrats to go pound sand. McCain? Hardly.

Democrats are also trying to claim that Christie balanced the budget by increasing taxes, calling a 3-quarter delay in property tax rebates a tax increase, since the promised yearly checks won’t be coming out in September.  Again, Christie says hogwash.

“First, we changed it from a property tax rebate program to a direct credit. We spent about $20 million a year in processing these checks and borrowing the money to send out to people. We’ve eliminated that.

And what we did was we skipped three-quarters of that payment in the current fiscal year as part of the shared sacrifice that everybody was going to have to make. I wasn’t going to cut just programs for the vulnerable; I wasn’t going to cut just programs for the rich, but programs for the middle class. Everything had to be cut.

But that program will be back as a direct tax credit in the fourth quarter of fiscal ’11.”

It’s as easy as swatting flies.

But the coup de grace is this attack from former governor Corzine’s running mate criticizing Christie’s communications shop for publicizing the appearances of Christie and Lt. Governor Guadagno at “partisan fundraisers.”

Weinberg said that formal notice that the Governor or Lieutenant Governor would be attending a fund raiser makes it a more attractive event for prospective contributors. Since the notification of the event is going out through the Communications Office’s official e-mail list, she raised the question of whether such use violates [Election Law Enforcement Commission] rules as an unreported in-kind contribution [!] to the sponsoring organization.

“The Governor’s press staff needs to decide whether they are working to promote their boss’s public policy initiatives or partisan fund raising activities,” said Weinberg (D-Bergen). “Promoting a fund raiser through an official governmental e-mail appears to fly in the face of established ethics rules.

Desperation, thy name is Loretta Weinberg.

Christie’s answers on immigration and Obamacare are only disappointing in light of the aggressive way in which he has taken on Democrats and their special interest friends in his first six months in office.  In other words, he’s a victim of his own success.

On immigration, Christie didn’t say anything that would preclude him coming out strong for securing the border before any discussions on “paths to citizenship.”  And he didn’t hint at what the path should be.  He could clarify that illegals would have to return home and get in line, for example.  On Obamacare, Christie said he hasn’t decided to commit state money to fighting what will surely be a year’s-long legal battle without a judgment on the likely result.  That’s not cowardice, it’s good stewardship that doesn’t come close to an endorsement of the bill.

Christie is a remarkably intelligent, sharp, and polished politician for a relative newcomer.  He is confident and unafraid. He clearly went into that interview determined to avoid any question with a hint of national implications.  It’s not in his or New Jersey’s interest right now for the governor to play up any national aspirations he may have.  Christie as governor has shown no inclination to back down from a challenge.  He didn’t go wobbly all of a sudden under Jake Tapper’s questioning.

As evidenced by their increasingly desperate and far-reaching attacks, Christie has Democrats, unions, and entrenched liberal interests in New Jersey right where he wants them.  Christie’s governorship is a boulder rolling downhill.  Democrats see the boulder coming, but they’re rooted to the ground.  Our side should just leave him alone and let Christie keep rolling.  The last thing we conservatives need to do is throw Democrats a rope by nitpicking Christie’s every word on this issue or that; at least not until he has flattened New Jersey’s Democrats.

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