On Wednesday, American Bridge launched a digital ad campaign showing New Jersey voters what Guadagno really thinks of America’s least popular governor.
“Kim Guadagno is running for Chris Christie’s third term, and her comments on Tuesday should put an end to her sad, desperate attempts to pretend otherwise,” said American Bridge spokesperson Lizzy Price. “The real godsend for New Jersey will come the day Guadagno and Christie leave office — together.”
Politico: Guadagno praises Christie at RGA, despite keeping her distance at home
By Josh Dawsey and Ryan Hutchins | July 25, 2017
In New Jersey, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno keeps crawling away from her boss, trying each day to distance herself from Gov. Chris Christie and his dismal approval ratings as she seeks the governorship this November.
“Beyond words,” she said of Christie after he was caught on camera lounging on a closed state beach during the government shutdown earlier this month. She has criticized other proposals of his while serving as his number two.
Half a country away, in a room filled with Republican governors and GOP donors in Colorado sky country, Guadagno is singing a different tune: She heaped praise on Christie during an event Tuesday at the Republican Governors Association conference in Aspen, according to two sources who were in the room. She called Christie “my governor,” and said people just don’t understand what a great job he’s done.
Guadagno’s remarks come as she prepares to announce she’s chosen a running mate who had backed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio over Christie during last year’s presidential primary, according to a source familiar with the campaign planning.
The speech also follows a report by NJ Advance Media that both the RGA and the Republican National Committee have decided not to help Guadagno in any major way. Sources told the news outlet her criticisms of President Donald Trump and Christie had played a role in their decisions.
On Tuesday, Guadagno had nothing but nice things to say about Christie. One source said Guadagno, who has been the lieutenant governor since Christie took office in 2010, said her boss had been a godsend to the state. He delivered a dramatic improvement, she said, by capping property taxes and improving the economy.
And the reason residents aren’t happy — and give the governor an approval rating of 15 percent — is that New Jersey is just too expensive, she said, according to the source.
Christie was in the room at the time and smiled as his protégé spoke, the source said. Guadagno said the governor deserves credit for the lowest unemployment rate in the region — something she claimed the press wasn’t giving enough attention to. Those were talking points Christie used just last week.
The points Guadagno made about the economy, property tax and other issues aren’t unusual for her and typically have a place in her stump speeches, though Christie himself typically does not merit a whole lot of mention.
Her campaign insisted the speech in Colorado wasn’t out of character.
“The lieutenant governor talked about what she always says on the campaign trail in New Jersey: over the last 8 years, the unemployment rate has fallen from almost 10% to 4.1%, but the challenge she’s focused on now is the need to make our state more affordable for middle class families by actually cutting property taxes,” spokesman Ricky Diaz said in an email. “She had an overwhelmingly positive reception from attendees, and is returning to New Jersey after very successful trip.”
Guadagno is running an uphill race against Phil Murphy, the Democratic nominee and former top executive at Goldman Sachs. He leads by more than 20 points in recent public opinion polls.
The lieutenant governor, who has been largely a background figure during her time with Christie, has worked to put some space between her positions and his. She had spoken out against the governor’s decision to raise the gas tax last year, spend $300 million renovating of the Statehouse and to pull out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program meant to limit carbon emissions.
Guadagno also wasn’t the only one in the room on Tuesday to offer praise to Christie, the former RGA chairman, the source said.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a long-time friend and ally of Christie, left his fellow governor “beaming” after he spoke. the source said. Christie is popular among some governors — even as he has the lowest approval rating among them — because of his fundraising prowess and leadership of the RGA.
Editorial: Guadagno Has Been ‘Loyal Foot Soldier’ To Christie. According to a Star Ledger editorial, written by Brigid Callahan Harrison, “Guadagno has been a loyal foot soldier to Gov. Chris Christie, unable or unwilling to defy him.” [Star Ledger, 6/18/17]
Christie: Guadagno ‘Deserves Credit For A Lot Of What’s Happened.’ According to AP, “Guadagno headed a commission aimed at reducing regulations under Christie and is well known for giving out her personal cellphone number at events across the state. ‘The fact is the lieutenant governor deserves credit for a lot of what’s happened,’ Christie said.” [AP, 5/22/17]
Christie Praised Guadagno. “Chris Christie held a wide-ranging news conference Monday […] And he gave perhaps the strongest praise he has all year to his lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, defending her from attacks about her record leveled by Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli.” [Observer, 5/23/217]
Christie On Guadagno: ‘We Agree On Much More Than We Disagree On. According to NJTV News, “Christie said he has no problems with Republican candidate Kim Guadagno, his lieutenant governor, who has been critical of his use of the official beach house and other matters. ‘You somehow think I should be offended by it, I’m not. She’s a candidate for governor. She has every right to speak her mind about any issue she believes is of public interest. And if she agrees with me on certain things, great. I would tell you that, you all want to emphasize the disagreements and I understand why, but we agree on much more than we disagree on,’ said Christie.” [NJTV,7/17/17]
Christie Said He Voted For Guadagno. According to Burlington County Times, “After months of remaining neutral in the Republican race to pick his potential successor, Gov. Chris Christie made his preference public Tuesday. He said he cast his ballot for his lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, in the primary election.” [Burlington County Times, 6/6/17]