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Chris Christie Enters The Immigration Debate, And The Tea Party Won’t Like What He Did

christie-endorsing-romney-photo

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation this week authorizing undocumented immigrants to claim in-state tuition status at New Jersey’s colleges and universities, a move that is likely to further annoy the Tea Party wing of his party:

The New Jersey Legislature approved legislation on Thursday that would allow students without legal immigration status to pay in-state college tuition. Gov. Chris Christie planned to sign it on Friday, a spokesman said.

The bill’s passage was assured after Mr. Christie, a Republican, struck a deal with Democratic lawmakers, who agreed to a demand of his that they change the bill to remove a provision allowing undocumented immigrants access to state financial aid programs.

“This is what compromise looks like,” the governor said at a news conference in Trenton after the accord was revealed.

The legislation, commonly known as the Dream Act, had become a political wedge between the state’s large immigrant population and Mr. Christie, who has long tried to balance the sometimes-conflicting demands of being the chief executive of a liberal-leaning state while also gathering support for a possible Republican presidential candidacy.

After the deal was struck, the State Assembly passed a bill that would have allowed certain immigrants without legal status to qualify for in-state tuition as well as financial aid. The Senate approved an identical bill last month.

But in keeping with the terms of the compromise, Mr. Christie blocked the measure with a conditional veto that included a demand for the removal of the financial aid provision. Under a conditional veto, a bill is rejected unless the Legislature agrees to the changes or overrides the veto with a two-thirds majority in both chambers.

This legislative choreography was the culmination of years of lobbying by immigrants and their advocates for so-called tuition equality in New Jersey.

With Mr. Christie’s signature, New Jersey will join at least 17 other states where in-state tuition is available to some immigrant students without legal status, according to the National Immigration Law Center. Three states — California, New Mexico and Texas — allow those immigrants access to state financial aid.

During Mr. Christie’s re-election campaign this year, he spoke favorably of tuition equality. But after winning by a landslide, helped by the support of about half of Hispanic voters, he made comments on the issue that drew the criticism of the bill’s supporters, who accused him of waffling.

Mr. Christie took the opportunity of the compromise to strike back at his critics, saying that his position had always remained consistent. “Shame on all the people — shame on you — who accused me and others of playing politics with this issue,” he said. “You were wrong.”

The compromise bill will allow access to in-state tuition for immigrants without legal status who have graduated from a New Jersey high school after at least three years of attendance.

Mr. Christie said the legislation would become effective immediately, allowing students to take advantage of it in time for the spring semester.

Supporters of the measure cheered the agreement but vowed to continue pushing for legislation to allow some immigrants lacking legal status to receive state tuition assistance.

“Today is a historic day in New Jersey, but the fight is not over,” Udi Ofer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, said in a statement.

“His veto will put up a roadblock for many of New Jersey’s best and brightest students who cannot afford the skyrocketing cost of a college education.”

Mr. Christie said on Thursday that he was concerned that opening state tuition assistance programs to undocumented immigrants would potentially turn New Jersey into what he called “a magnet state,” drawing out-of-state students wanting to take advantage of the state’s generosity. “I care about taking care of New Jersey kids,” he said, “whether they’re citizens or undocumented.”

Christie’s position on this issue is similar to the one that Texas Governor Rick Perry took during the 2012 Presidential campaign. Prior to running for President, Perry had signed into law a bill that very similar to the one that Christie has endorsed, and he did so with the overwhelming support of a state legislature that is overwhelmingly Republican. In addition to making note of the fact that Texas Republicans, who are not exactly known for their moderation, supported the tuition plan overwhelmingly, Perry spoke many times during the course of a campaign that soon imploded for reasons that went far beyond immigration that giving in-state status to students regardless of immigration status was in the best interests of his state because it was a way to hopefully ensure that talented students would stay in Texas after they graduated. Not surprisingly, though, Perry’s position on the tuition issue became the subject of attack from his fellow candidates, including Mitt Romney, who attacked the idea of in-state tuition for undocumented students even in front of Latino audiences. Unfortunately for Perry, when the issue came up during a debate, he handled in what can only be described as the worst way possible:

Tonight’s Google/Fox News Republican 2012 presidential debate is the third such event in the past three weeks, and perhaps the testiest of the bunch. Perhaps most indicative of the comfort with which the Republican candidates are slamming each other at this point is this exchange, initially between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, and later picked up by Rick Santorum, on illegal immigration, where Perry took a strong stance in favor of educating undocumented children.

Romney first responded to a question on Texas’ measures to help illegal immigrant children pay their tuition at state schools, saying “it doesn’t make sense to me” that illegal immigrants can get in-state tuition discounts that American citizens aren’t eligible for and calling for America to “turn off the magnet of government discounts.” To that argument, Perry replied passionately that “you don’t have a heart” if you don’t feel for the children of illegal immigrants. “We have to educate these children,” he concluded.

Not surprisingly, calling people who disagreed with him “heartless” didn’t exactly go over very well, and this was just one of many of Perry’s debate slip-ups that ended up dooming his campaign. In the end, I thought Perry was one of the few people in the GOP field in 2012 that had sensible positions on immigration, even though I disagreed with him strongly on many other issues and even though it became apparent quickly that Perry was not ready for the prime time of Presidential politics. However, whether he was right or wrong ended up being largely irrelevant, and while he might have fared better had he not called his opponents “heartless,” it was quite obvious that his position on immigration would have been a problem going forward even if he hadn’t made the other mistakes that he made during the course of the 2012 campaign, which was pretty much over for him by November 2011.

Will the same thing happen to Christe? To start at the beginning, I tend to doubt that he’d end up making the same rhetorical mistakes that Perry did. While the New Jersey Governor has a well-earned reputation for being outspoken, he’s also demonstrated that he seems to know where the line is and how to avoid crossing over it. This was on display during the debates he held during the course of the 2013 campaign with Democratic nominee Barbara Buono. Having seen all or portions of all three debates on C-Span or online, I doubt he’s going to be goaded into slipping up the way Perry did. Leaving that aside, though, we already know that Christie has already come under attack from the right wing of the GOP for other policy positions he’s taken, as well as the truly idiotic reaction from that segment of the party to his actions during Hurricane Sandy and thereafter. This will be just another item they’ll add to the list in favor of the argument that Christie is a “RINO.” The question will be whether he can make a good enough argument to rise about the annoying din of the anti-immigration crowd in the GOP. I’m not sure, but he strikes me as someone who just might be able to accomplish that task.

As for the idea of in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants, I find it hard to find a rational reason to reject the idea. As long as they meet the same residency requirements as other New Jersey High School students and have the grades and test scores to qualify for admission, I don’t see what’s wrong with the idea of allowing them to take advantage o the same tuition discounts. Additionally, just as Perry argued, albeit incoherently for the most part, in 2012, there are rather obvious benefits to the state in keeping talented students in the state. The fact that some of these students are people who are here illegally largely through no choice of their own should not be a bar to allowing them to take advantage of the same benefits available to any other New Jersey resident. Of course, this is politics, where being right doesn’t always get you very much. It will be interesting, then, to see how Christie handles this on the national level.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Many if not most of these kids have never spent any significant part of their life in Mexico or Guatemala or Somalia or wherever. Many don’t speak the language of their birthplace. Their education, attitudes, mores, are all American.

    But the Tea Party thinks we should round them up and throw them on a plane. Christians. Such good Christians.

    If they’re here (and they certainly do seem to be here) it’s in our interests that they be educated and grow to contribute, constrained only by the limits of their talents.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 3

  2. beth says:

    I have no love for Christie or his policies but if he’s the one who can finally pry the Republican party loose of the Tea Party grip, more power to him. This is a smart move that will help him with independents, women and minorities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  3. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    They are the same folks who wave their pitchforks and torches demanding that every single illegal immigrant be deported because it will be good for the economy.

    When I ask them how removing 12 million consumers from the economy is beneficial, they just glare at me – because they clearly have no response.

    Just like their position has nothing to do with the economy. It’s amazing how many different and creative cloaks people can create in which to dress up nativism, isn’t it?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  4. al-Ameda says:

    I like what he’s doing – he’s trying to govern, he’s being pragmatic. It is very similar to what Jerry Brown is doing in California – you generally know those guys are coming from ideologically, however they are willing to deal, and they’re not owned by anyone.

    Many of my friends and associates are Democrats, and most are progressive in their political orientation, and in discussing politics and looking ahead to the 2016 round, about half of them have expressed approval and admiration of Governor Christie. I suspect some of this comes out of the Hurricane Sandy episode, wherein the governor worked with President Obama to get the resources necessary to handle the disaster. People want (or should want) government to work, they want to see their representatives govern effectively.

    For far too long in Washington, and in State Houses across the country, politics has devolved into zero-sum ideological warfare, and frankly, we’re living with the toxic results of that. It appears that a guy like Christie is going in a different direction – he wants to govern and he is willing to bargain, deal and negotiate to get a few important things accomplished. I’d say that he’s done a few worthwhile things, and people have taken note.

    Can he get far in today’s GOP? Hard to say – 2016 is two years out. Right now, the odds are against him, but if more and more Republicans tire of the negativity and dysfunction, Governor Christie is going to become a viable candidate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  5. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I’m not sure at this point whether I fall more into the progressive Democrat camp or the Eisenhower Republican camp, but I do have to say that – more and more – I’m considering voting for this guy if he runs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I’m not sure at this point whether I fall more into the progressive Democrat camp or the Eisenhower Republican camp, but I do have to say that – more and more – I’m considering voting for this guy if he runs.

    A couple of very liberal associates of mine are from New York City, and both remember voting for Jacob Javits (yes, that kind of Republican).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. ernieyeball says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I’m considering voting for this guy if he runs.

    Never too soon to ponder the ’16 POTUS Playoffs.

    I see that AZ wants to hold:

    A presidential preference election (on the) SAME DATE ON WHICH THE PRESIDENTIAL CAUCUSES ARE HELD IN IOWA of each year in which the President of the United States is elected.

    http://www.azleg.gov//FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/51leg/1r/bills/hb2017p.htm&Session_ID=110

    Can’t find any news to see if the Grand Canyon State has made this the law yet.
    If it goes I wonder who will bother covering the Iowa Ice Caucus when they can be in AZ in January?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Did he say he would not turn over their names to ICE? No? I think NJ schools are safe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. superdestroyer says:

    Gov. Christie is just showing that he cannot count and is how excited he is to give the cheap labor Republicans and Democrats what ever they want. Giving a group (open border Democrats) that will never vote for you or your party a huge political win is stupid. However, it is easy to say that the students cannot apply for financial aid because the children and their parents do not have real social security numbers, tax returns, bank accounts, or the other financial documents needs to apply for student financial aid.

    However, giving illegal aliens a place in a struggling state university system is just another way to tell the middle class and blue collar whites who actually vote for Republicans to drop dead. I suspect just like Christie does not send his own children to schools with the children of illegal aliens, Christie’s children will probably never attend a state university in New Jersey.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  10. superdestroyer says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The response is easy. Why do you believe that Americans are too lazy to be blue collar workers, too stupid to be high tech workers, and too self to have children so that those Americans need to be replaced.

    f the 12 million were removed, the deficit would be smaller since the 12 million are net consumers of tax dollars. The public schools would be better since less would have to be spent ESL and remedial education. Jobs that now pay minimum wage would have to start paying market wages.

    Using your logic, if 12 million are good, then 120 million would be better than grow the economy any more. Of course, the rest of the industrialized world must love the U.S. in its pursuit to replace its citizens with third world immigrants.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  11. Woody says:

    Congressional Republicans will hem/haw and finally deny; Gov. Christie will no doubt publicly humiliate some person of lesser power and ability; the Halperins and Scarboroughs will cheer him on wildly, and the conservative wing shall be somewhat appeased.

    The only way Gov. Christie placates the GOP activists (and thus the courtier press) is to be a bully. Both groups believe bullies to be admirable (so long as they pick on the weak).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  12. PJ says:

    Huntsman gambled on the GOP going sane in time for the 2012 election. He lost big.
    Looks like Christie is making the same bet for the next presidential election.

    I would bet on him losing that bet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  13. Laurence Bachmann says:

    Democrats who underestimate this guy are fools. He is going to run and run strong. Neocons and fiscal cons are going to back him big–they are determined to rest the agenda of the party from the TP crowd. And they need someone who can bring back moderates He’s their guy.

    If Christie runs smart he won’t even campaign in crazyland, ie, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi. Or Iowa’s born again Christian caucus. NE, mid Atlantic states, mid west and PAC west. That’s his ticket. The red meat-red state crowd will howl like stuck pigs and do the PUMA roar, but where are they gonna go? Even if they stay home he carries the Deep South in the general election.

    Dems better hope the economy is humming by 2016. And start getting those federal judges approved fast. And for Christ sake get Bader Ginsburg to retire. Remember when we underestimated Reagan? Four Supreme Court appointees later……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  14. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @beth: I agree with you. Personally i can’t stand the pompous ass but anyone who marginalizes and diminishes the Tea Party has performed a public service.

    What drives me crazy is nobody should even know who he is. If Jersey Democrats weren’t so thoroughly corrupt and inept, mismanaging one of the wealthiest and most liberal states in the country, he would be unknown. Their incompetence would be hilarious if the consequences weren’t so scary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  15. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Are you huffing, puffing or actually trying to blow my house down?

    Oh yea, war on Christmas!

    Almost forgot …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  16. Jeremy says:

    @HarvardLaw92: They somehow think that young white kids will take the immigrants’ jobs, and that somehow this will benefit the country.

    As if.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  17. Mercer says:

    ” I fall more into the progressive Democrat camp or the Eisenhower Republican camp, ”

    If you consider yourself an Eisenhower Republican you should support mass deportation of illegals since that was Ike’s response to illegal immigration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  18. MarkedMan says:

    I don’t think Democrats are underestimating Christie. If he gets the nomination he will have a lot of momentum. Some so called Conservatives will stay home but that will be dwarfed by the number of conservative Democrats who feel he gives them a voice. The real question is if he can make it through the primaries. The one thing that he has going for him is that he is, by nature, a bully. And the Repub base loves nothing better than someone who jabs a finger at some poor slob from the “other team” and tells them off. Ironically, this same characteristic may be the one thing that could keep him from winning the general. While the Repubs see a champion of the job creators giving one of the 47% parasites what-for, the general public sees the most powerful man in the state using his position to get contemptuously in the face of a 60 year old life long primary school teacher and grandmother. NJ’ers may tolerate it, but it won’t play as well in the Midwest, the South and the West Coast, at least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  19. Scott F. says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I’m not sure at this point whether I fall more into the progressive Democrat camp or the Eisenhower Republican camp, but I do have to say that – more and more – I’m considering voting for this guy if he runs.

    If you are either of those camps, be careful what you wish for. The only way Christie wins the White House is in a wave election. That means not just Christie as POTUS, but Republican control of both the House and Senate. The NJ governor may be a pragmatist, but his cohort will be the same nihilists currently running the GOP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @superdestroyer: ” Jobs that now pay minimum wage would have to start paying market wages.”

    From you lips to God’s ear! Good luck with THAT one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  21. Stonetools says:

    Another version of this headline would be “Christie decreases his chances at a Republican presidential nomination , while enhances his chances in a general election”. Unfortunately, he must win the first to get to the second.
    It is now a truism in politics that to win the Republican nomination you must take positions that damage your hopes in the general election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. superdestroyer says:

    @Jeremy:

    Once again, a progressives comes out and says that blue collar whites are losers and need to be replaced with third world immigrants. I wonder how the dry wall in installed, the lawns are mowed, and the meals are cooked in places like Vermont where there are few Latinos. The U.S. managed to clean their own buildings for decades without massive numbers of immigrants.

    Why to progressives hate blue collar whites so much that they believe they should not exist and need to be replaced?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  23. superdestroyer says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Go back and look at the late 1990;s. When the unemployment rate was at 4% nationally and below 4% in many places wages started to go up. Of course, what the cheap labor Republicans did then was stop enforcing the immigration laws and stopped defending the borders.

    Look at current day North Dakota. wages have gone up because the demand for labor was gone up. What Gov. Christie would tell North Dakota to do would be to bring in large numbers of illegal aliens who will work for less and live 15 people to a two bedroom house. but then, someone may ask why Christie wants to replace Americans with third world immigrants and wants average incomes to go down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  24. superdestroyer says:

    @Mercer:

    Progressives do not really mean Eisenhower Republican but actually mean cheap labor Republican. Urban progressives have convinced themselves that their standard of living in dependent on having a large number of third world immigrants who will work for very low wages. Progressives believe that open borders and amnesty is a double win since it will subsidize their standard of living and will create many more automatic Democratic Party voters.

    Progressives seem to want a U.S. with a small cadre of patrons and a large number of poor third world immigrants who will do the blue collar work that they do not want to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  25. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @MarkedMan: I respectfully disagree. The public in Ohio and Wisconsin both elected governors who “got in the face” of those very same school teachers, scaling back their pensions. Whatever one thinks of the public service pension problem Christie’s position has been supported in lots of “heartland” places.

    More troubling though is I still hear lots of mocking references to “fat boy” and “lard ass” which I always thought stupid (do liberals not have eyes–20% of the damn country is morbidly obese for christsake, and we can’t stop sneering at fat people). It’s all very reminiscent of the smug references to Regan being too stupid to be president. I remember how well that worked out for us.

    I quite agree with your suggestion that his manner may be to gruff for the nation–ie, women. And if we go with Hilary he is going to have to tiptoe and change his tune. Not sure he can. But so far he has done everything really well. And the not-completely-crazy conservative wing of the Repubs is hell bent on having him. Boehner’s budget deal is proof they no longer will pander to the TPs. Two election cycles have proven it a mistake.

    It’s going to be a tough slog if he is their guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I’m not sure at this point whether I fall more into the progressive Democrat camp or the Eisenhower Republican camp,

    If you really are one or the other of those 2, you need to research a little deeper into what CC actually has done and what he stands for. I think you will find him to be antithetical to everything you believe in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  27. EddieinCA says:

    Ultimately, it becomes an issue of math.

    Let’s look at the calendar:

    Iowa – Christie ain’t gonna win Iowa. A strong third here would be great for him.

    New Hampshire – Could easily win New Hampshire. They like independent, and they’re not bible thumpers.

    Utah – Christie ain’t winning Utah.

    Nevada – Caucus

    No/So Carolina – If he wins here, he’ll probably be the nominee. If he doesn’t, he’s probably done by Florida.

    Think Guiliani, who was even more liked by the base than Christie is currently.

    Remember how that turned out.

    If he can get there, he’d be formidable. However, I don’t know how he gets there given the current GOP Base and Primary voter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  28. TarianinMO says:

    Apparently being Christian means rewarding people who have knowingly and repeatedly broken the law and on someone else’s dime. Thanks for your expert analysis on Christianity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  29. Matt Bernius says:

    @EddieinCA:

    Think Guiliani, who was even more liked by the base than Christie is currently.

    Remember how that turned out.

    If [Christie] can get there, he’d be formidable. However, I don’t know how he gets there given the current GOP Base and Primary voter.

    Two points:

    1. When was the last time in recent memory that the “Republican base” got their candidate? Seriously… The power of the base in *presidential* elections/primaries tends to be overblown.

    2. Guiliani never ran a serious campaign. And beyond the 9/11 thing he was not a particularly strong candidate with any aspect of the party beyond neocons. And he based his entire campaign on the Florida win.

    I’m not a Christie supporter, but trying to compare Christie to Guiliani is a HUGE mistake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @Matt Bernius: Absolutely, Matt. Rudy was a one-trick pony who became a joke. (every sentence begins and ends with 9/11). According to Quinnipiac, one of the more reputable state pollsters, CC is in a dead heat with Hilary. If that doesn’t scare the bejeezus out of Dems, it should. PA’s proximity to Jersey makes him well known compared to other places. When people know him they like him.

    And Libs can bitch about he’s not nice or he’s a bully. But they don’t come more liberal than Jersey women and he did fine with them. Time to take our heads out of the sand and get ready for a brawl.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. EddieinCA says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    @EddieinCA:

    Think Guiliani, who was even more liked by the base than Christie is currently.

    Remember how that turned out.

    If [Christie] can get there, he’d be formidable. However, I don’t know how he gets there given the current GOP Base and Primary voter.

    Two points:

    1. When was the last time in recent memory that the “Republican base” got their candidate? Seriously… The power of the base in *presidential* elections/primaries tends to be overblown.

    2. Guiliani never ran a serious campaign. And beyond the 9/11 thing he was not a particularly strong candidate with any aspect of the party beyond neocons. And he based his entire campaign on the Florida win.

    With all due respect, Matt, that’s some revisionst history.

    1. The “base” got their candidate in 2000, the last time they won. They smeared McCain to do it, but they did. They made up stories about McCain’s black illigitimate baby to do so, but… they did it.

    2. Guliani was the front runner through most of 2007 and early 2008.

    From Wikipedia:

    At the onset of the campaign, Senator John McCain was viewed as the front-runner to win the Republican nomination. However, Giuliani had held a significant lead in the nationwide polls by January 2007.[1] McCain’s candidacy soon faltered, and throughout 2007, Giuliani maintained his lead in both national polls and fundraising.

    If you think the “base” is overblown, you’re in a different reality than I am. I watched both McCain and Romney tack HARD to the right to win the primaries. I watched McCain pick the most Right Wing Candidate possible to help him with “the base”. I watched Romney pick the right wing darling Paul Ryan to shore up his standing with “the base”. Without tacking hard to the right, and disavowing most of their centrist accomplishments, neither McCain or Romney would have been the nominee.

    Unfortunately, this lead to crushing defeats in the general election. If Christie wins the nomination, it becomes a math battle consisting of:

    Which is the larger number? Conservatives that stay home, or Dems that switch over to Christie?

    Because alot of GOP voters will stay home if Christie is the nominee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  32. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @TarianinMO: Being Christian does mean NOT tearing families apart to enforce a law that was ignored when it suited business interests. Do you really want to be the guy who forces men and women across the border as their children scream for mommy and daddy? If that doesn’t trouble you and send a chill up your spine, you lack basic human decency.

    There is NO ideal solution to this problem, and yes the law should be enforced. But hopefully with as much compassion and humanity as possible. Not as little. That IS what Christianity is about. And you’re welcome for having it explained to you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  33. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I consider myself a Rockefeller Republican – the last time I voted for a governor I really liked was William Weld – and I feel completely comfortable within the center-right modern Democratic Party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. cleverboots says:

    The Tea Party isn’t the only group who disapproves of Christie’s position.
    Legal citizens who are NJ residents don’t like it either. Christie is merely pandering to the Latino voters as he positions himself for the Republican nomination for President in 2016 just as Obama did for the Democratic Party in 2012.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  35. Matt Bernius says:

    @EddieinCA:

    However, Giuliani had held a significant lead in the nationwide polls by January 2007.[1] McCain’s candidacy soon faltered, and throughout 2007, Giuliani maintained his lead in both national polls and fundraising.

    All I can say is look at the cavalcade of candidates who held the lead in both polls and fundraising throughout 2011.

    If one takes a step back and looks that the infrastructure Giuliani was putting in place during that same time, and even his public appearances schedule, one will find that he wasn’t running a significant or serious campaign. At best he can be compared to someone like Perry or possible Gingrich.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. cleverboots says:

    Christie is very serious. He has been running since before he was reelected Governor. The Governorship of NJ is his way of staying in the public arena and providing a job for him when he does not become President. Hillary Clinton will beat him. It’s a replay of 2012. Two lousy Candidates and the Country is the real loser.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. michael reynolds says:

    @TarianinMO:

    That whole judge-not, humility, rich man through the eye of a needle, love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek, suffer the little children, as you do to the least of these thing, all of that, the totality of Christ’s teaching, is just lost on people like you. You take the name of Christian without being able to handle the actual work of it.

    Generation of vipers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  38. cleverboots says:

    @michael reynolds: What Christie is doing has NOTHING to do with religious values. He has shafted the middle and lower classes in NJ repeatedly and has been a rotten Governor because of it. He is pandering to Latino voters, PERIOD.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @cleverboots:

    I wonder how he managed to be re-elected so overwhelmingly if what you say is true.

    Obvious conclusion: you’re wrong. Or at least you hold a very small minority position.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. PJ says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:

    More troubling though is I still hear lots of mocking references to “fat boy” and “lard ass” which I always thought stupid (do liberals not have eyes–20% of the damn country is morbidly obese for christsake, and we can’t stop sneering at fat people). It’s all very reminiscent of the smug references to Regan being too stupid to be president. I remember how well that worked out for us.

    There’s no need to call Christie “fat boy”, etc.

    But the last president with a BMI like Christie’s was Taft who served as President between 1909 and 1913. Taft had a BMI 45. Christie has a BMI at or above 40. The President with the highest BMI since Taft is Bill Clinton, he had a BMI of 28 in 1992.

    While the country is obese, obese people don’t tend to get elected as President.

    (The same thing can be said about height, only three Presidents since Taft have been shorter than Christie. Luckily for him, Hillary Clinton is shorter.)

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  41. cleverboots says:

    A noun a verb and Sandy. He is another Giuliani in that sense. No real track record of performance. In addition, Barbara Buono was shafted by her own Party-many Democrats supported Christie because we ALL know he’s running for President and it will be a tight race against Clinton. God forbid either one of them wins.

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  42. beth says:

    I don’t count Christie out of anything. I’ve got lots of friends from NJ on Facebook who are firemen, police officers and teachers who post screeds against how Christie treats them yet they still voted for him. To me this speaks not only to how bad a candidate Buono was, but how charismatic Christie can be. Kind of like “he’s an a**hole, but he’s OUR a**hole”. I just wonder how that support translates to a national campaign. It will be interesting to watch.

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  43. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @PJ: That’s interesting anecdotal information, but since there have been only 43 Presidents (no need to count Cleveland’s rather chubby self twice), the sample is so small as to be statistically meaningless.

    Until Taft nobody weighing 300 pounds was elected. Until Madison nobody hobbit size. Until Kennedy nobody Catholic. Until Regan nobody divorced. Until Obama nobody AfAm. If I had my druthers Hilary will knock off “nobody female” as a category. My point was that to denigrate him for superficial reasons is, well, superficial.

    Besides the belly band seems to be working– there is noticeably less of him than last year during Sandy. If your suppositions are correct,then his poll numbers are climbing as I type. Another reason for concern.

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  44. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @cleverboots: You’re kidding yourself pal. I live in NYC and work with dozens of middle class DEMOCRATS who were happy to vote for CC. If you know anything about the state it was one of the most mismanaged in the country and he is regarded as a check on profligate Democrats (who definitely reflect Jerseyans more liberal social values–they just don’t want to be the richest bankrupt state in America). An entirely reasonable hope IMHO.

    I agree he is a bully at times, but he isn’t always and he isn’t afraid to buck the party. Americans like that too. You can call his position pandering to Latinos if you like. If so, then what are the Democrats, whores? Political parties and politicians attract voters by developing positions that serve the interest of constituent groups (ie, Latinos). And, yes, GASP! Sometimes it’s cynical.

    I would argue Republicans have been in the wilderness the last decade because they have been pandering to the WRONG groups, ie, the far right that has nowhere else to go if they do actually bolt from the party. Stupidly they haven’t expanded, they have contracted ther base. They finally seem to understand who should get the pandering. Duh.

    Look at last years electoral map. Christie carries EVERY state Romney carried. The question is,
    what else? NH maybe. VA maybe. PA maybe. MI maybe. OH maybe. IA maybe. OR maybe. FL maybe. Whether you think he is “worthy” or not is irrelevant. Millions of others do. And that should trouble Democrats.

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  45. michael reynolds says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:

    In fact, there are two things that really annoy me about Mr. Obama. One is that he’s feckless when it comes to selling a program or idea. The other is that he doesn’t seem to have an inner bully.

    Presidents who expect to get things done sometimes need to be able to bully. Persuasion when the other party is rational and amenable to persuasion, bullying when they aren’t.

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  46. PJ says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:
    Are obese people, in general, discriminated against?

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  47. JohnMcC says:

    @michael reynolds: As so often, I agree with you, sir. Barack is sort of ‘too nice’ to be the best President he could be. That whole ‘there is no red states and there is no blue states’ business was inspirational rhetoric. It’s not the way to govern. In that respect, Gov Christie would probably have a more complete bag of presidential tricks.

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  48. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @PJ: I suppose that depends upon one’s definition of discrimination. We are a society that values appearance and today it is skinny, muscular, in shape that is considered desirable, dynamic and a manifestation of success. fat people are perceived as the opposite of that. It is unfair but 400 years ago the Rubenesque got a free pass. The wheel turns, and life’s unfair. But unfair is not discrimination.

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  49. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @michael reynolds: You are preaching to the choir. I have come to resent, almost despise Mr. Obama’s unwillingness to get down in the mud and fight. Nancy Pelosi has a bigger pair than 44 ever will and I credit her for lining up the 30 democrats who fell on their sword for ACA. Not him.

    I think he is very smart, decent sort who I thought would be much better at throwing a punch if needed. How the f$@k he came up through the Chicago machine is beyond me. Reminds me of Woodrow Wilson. Too above it all. Another acamedician. And that’s not a compliment, in this context.

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  50. PJ says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:

    We are a society that values appearance and today it is skinny, muscular, in shape that is considered desirable, dynamic and a manifestation of success. fat people are perceived as the opposite of that. It is unfair but 400 years ago the Rubenesque got a free pass. The wheel turns, and life’s unfair. But unfair is not discrimination.

    And yet somehow voters are going to be fair in 2016?
    Look no further than Christie himself, there’s a reason for him having lap-band surgery.

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  51. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @PJ: We’re not disagreeing entirely If the man’s ass is billboard size, he shouldn’t even bother. But he’s lost 50 pounds and if he loses another 50 he’s a contender. Further, talking about weight is valid as a health concern, but otherwise is about as meaningful as Hilary’s hair, or her appearance or her likableness–whatever that was.

    Americans are perhaps as uninformed as a nation with our advntages could possibly be.People like us who comment and follow bloggers are NOT typical. Instead of information and issues they employ a “smell test” that determines whether something is a real concern or bullahit. “fatty, fatty” smells like bullshit to me. If however we use the old “would like to have a beer with him” standard, apparently 60% of Jerseyans thought they would. If so, the Midwest will buy him a six pack. I think Democrats should be concerned and gear up for him. a weakness for fried chicken does not necessarily translate into political weakness in today’s USA

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  52. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @PJ: One last point: every candidate has baggage. This is his. And he has to overcome it. But Hilary has her own, too. People have a different standard for women than men. Too bad for her. Some will say she is past her prime. Ageist and rude but tough Both will or will not make their case. I think it fair to say if a woman has a shot then so does the fat (or former fat) guy from Jersey, who in so many other ways is very formidable.

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  53. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    As for the idea of in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants, I find it hard to find a rational reason to reject the idea.

    Here are two reasons:

    1) It creates a situation where it is actually more advantageous to be an illegal alien than an American citizen or legal alien, for those who live outside of New Jersey and wish to attend a New Jersey school.

    2) It sets up the illegal alien students to get better-paying jobs and go into good, solid careers — that they cannot legally hold, as they are illegal aliens and cannot get legal employment.

    That good enough?

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