The Democrats' campaign to hound New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and portray him as a bully with little regard for everyday people just got more biting.
The Democratic National Committee has released a new online video recounting the Republican governor's troubles involving alleged political retribution that led to the closure of traffic lanes at the George Washington Bridge last year.
"It's been over 150 days since Chris Christie's office ordered the lane closures in Fort Lee," a DNC spokeswoman said in summarizing the video, and it's been a month since Christie held a two-hour news conference on the issue. "Things have gone from bad to worse for Christie since his press conference," she added. "Former allies made new accusations. His poll numbers tanked. Twenty subpoenas have been issued, including [subpoenas to] many members of his staff. The U.S. attorney's office launched [its] own investigation. There have been so many developments over the last month that it's hard to keep track."
The one-minute video, titled "A Look Back: The Month Since Christie's Press Conference," contains rapid-fire clips from TV commentators and newspaper headlines criticizing Christie, a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016, for the bridge scandal.
In another blow, the editorial page editor of the Star-Ledger, New Jersey's largest newspaper, said the publication's endorsement of Christie for re-election last year was "regrettable." In a scathing column Sunday, Tom Moran wrote, "Yes, we knew Christie was a bully. But we didn't know his crew was crazy enough to put people's lives at risk in Fort Lee as a means to pressure the mayor. We didn't know he would use Hurricane Sandy aid as a political slush fund. And we certainly didn't know that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno." Moran said the Star-Ledger "blew this one."
The DNC has been trailing Christie around the country as he seeks to raise money for Republican gubernatorial candidates in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Democratic officials have berated him during his recent trips to Florida and Texas.
And former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland will be the designated hitter when Christie travels to Chicago Tuesday to headline GOP fundraisers and speak at a business leaders' luncheon. Strickland is to hold a news conference to remind voters and potential contributors of Christie's problems regarding the lane closures and other issues. Christie's critics say his aides closed the lanes to punish the Fort Lee mayor for not endorsing the governor's re-election last year, tying up traffic for days and making it tougher for emergency vehicles to respond to calls. Christie has denied prior knowledge of such a decision.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the four Republican candidates now in the Illinois governor's race have no plans to appear with Christie in Chicago Tuesday.The Democrats' goal is to rough Christie up and make him damaged goods if he pursues the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. This is the same strategy the Democrats used against Mitt Romney as he pursued the GOP nomination in 2012, and it succeeded in creating very negative impressions of Romney. He lost the general election to President Barack Obama.