Chris Christie Endorsing Mitt Romney
In a move sure to make conservative heads explode, Chris Christie is set to endorse Mitt Romney for president.
Chris Cillizza, WaPo (“Chris Christie to endorse Mitt Romney“):
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will endorse former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney today, two sources familiar with the situation confirmed to the Fix.
The endorsement will come later this afternoon, according to the sources, just hours before the presidential candidates gather in Hanover, New Hampshire for the seventh debate of the GOP nomination fight.
Sources close to the process said that Romney’s courtship of Christie was a long one but refused to get into details. Christie is expected to address those matters at his press event announcing the endorsement.
Christie’s backing should provide a major boost to Romney who has been making the case for weeks that he is the best — and perhaps only — candidate who can beat President Obama in 2012.
Christie, a favorite of tea party and establishment types alike, has emphasized the need for the GOP to nominate someone not who they agree with on every issue but rather someone who can win.
Oddly, in early 2008, I most of the social conservatives were fawning over Romney, seeing him as the “real conservative” alternative to the RINO John McCain. Now that Romney is in the same position as McCin was then, he’s seen as the RINO for whom an “Anybody But Mitt” candidate of the week is being seen as an alternative. Will Christie be able to reassure them?
Christie is, rather obviously from my vantagepoint, not a Movement Conservative ideologue. Indeed, he can barely hide his contempt for large swaths of the base. Yet, they love him. We’ll see if this endorsement changes that or changes their perception of Romney.
At the end of the day, I’m not sure endorsements matter that much. But this is an interesting signal nonetheless.