New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie faced a broad and furious backlash from conservatives for saying so many nice things about President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and not only did it hurt his feelings—it was just as vengeful as everyone expected after the hug of the year. News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch tweeted a few days after the storm, "Christie, while thanking [Obama], must re- declare for Romney, or take blame for next four dire years." Christie called Murdoch the next day, The New York Times' Michael Barbaro reports, and explained that New Jersey needed support, no matter the political party. But Murdoch said Christie had to publicly remind voters he backed Mitt Romney for president, which Christie did the next day.
If that calmed Murdoch, it hasn't worked for other conservatives. Barbaro reports that after Sandy, "Christie and his advisers were startled to hear from out-of-state donors to Mr. Romney, who had little interest in the hurricane and viewed him solely as a campaign surrogate, demanding to know why he had stood so close to the president on a tarmac" during a joint press conference. One donor asked why Christie had gotten on Obama's helicopter. At the Republican Governors Association conference last week, Christie had to tell Republicans, "I will not apologize for doing my job." And while many Republicans are rushing to blame Romney for his loss -- not the Republican platform -- the Romney campaign wants to blame Christie. Campaign advisers found that more undecided voters than usual swung to back Obama in the last days of the campaign, and many of them said the storm helped make up their minds. All the haters left Christie "feeling deeply misunderstood and wounded," Barbaro reports.
Not all the Christie-hate is happening behind the scenes, either. The Drudge Report is still holding a grudge -- "CHRISTIE CLOWNS ON 'SNL' AS RESIDENTS SUFFER..." was Monday's headline. "I know people who think that what Christie did was, for all intents and purposes, endorse Obama," Rush Limbaugh said before the election. "Will Chris Christie Pay Any Price?" he asked after it. And Limbaugh warned that conservative recriminations might go the wrong way. "I'm gonna be the reason -- not Chris Christie, I'm gonna be the reason -- all this happened... [I]t'll be said if the Republican Party wants to have a future, they're gonna have to shut up people like me and stop listening to people like me."
You can see why that might happen, since the one Republican guy who's recently shown he can get non-Republicans to actually like him is Chris Christie. A new Quinnipiac poll of New York City voters finds the plurality, 36 percent, though Christie did the best job in responding to the storm. Obama was in second place, with 22 percent thinking he did best, followed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with 15 percent.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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