Hurricane Sandy: Christie’s praise of Obama torpedoes Romney’s election argument

  • Published on November 1st, 2012

Obama and Christie, working together to clean up after hurricane sandyGovernor Chris Christie continues to praise President Obama for his outstanding response to Hurricane Sandy. And that may be putting a nail in the coffin of one of Mitt Romney’s last, best campaign messages.

Romney thought he had a winning argument to close out this year’s election race – I’m the guy who can bring Democrats and Republicans together and end the gridlock in Washington.

It’s more bullshit, of course – Romney didn’t work together with Democrats when he was Governor of Massachusetts; instead he vetoed more than 800 Democratic bills, and sat back and whined when the Democrats had the votes to over-ride him.

But without that background information, it sure sounds like an appealing pitch to low-information voters who haven’t yet made up their minds, and who really want the folks in Washington to stop with the bickering already and actually get something done for the little guy in this country.

Greg Sargent says Christy’s words are “driving a stake” into that message:

Now Americans are being treated to images of a Republican Governor extensively praising Obama for working with him cooperatively and displaying leadership and a propensity for quick action at a time of crisis.

There has been a lot of talk about how the storm has “frozen” the race. Some have noted that it stalled Romney’s supposed “momentum.” If so, it’s also relevant that Obama’s performance, and Christie’s high profile praise of it, directly undermine one of Romney’s main closing messages. Indeed, even Republicans are worried about this.

It’s not just that message, though. It drives a stake through the heart of the GOP’s perennial attack that government is the enemy, that government can do no good, that government needs to be cut and slashed and shrunk.

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People can see with their own eyes that the government is there to help. When people need it the most. And Romney isn’t helping his own cause by doubling down on his earlier statement that disaster relief (like everything else, apparently) is best left to the states.

Chris Christie knows perfectly well that he doesn’t have the resources right now, with New Jersey completely slammed by Hurricane Sandy, to do it on his own. And he’s making sure that everyone knows it. Good for him.

About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.