SHHH: No one tell Karl Rove or the RNC — Chris Christie as popular as moldy bread in poll of conservatives

Granted, it’s a non-scientific poll (click here to take it), but the results thus far can not be encouraging for the GOP establishment.

After all, the readers of this august journal are what we might call Constitutional Conservatives, Tea Party Patriots, Reaganites, and other assorted patriots. The Republican Party may know them as “the base“, the same cadre of Americans that swept the feckless John Boehner to power in 2010.

The lesson learned for Karl Rove and Reince Preibus: your pals Jeb Bush and Chris Christie are about as popular as skin lice and mildew, respectively.

Not that the Chamber of Commerce and the rest of the corporatists care; their agenda is levering government to achieve wealth. Our agenda is the opposite: it is to enable free enterprise by restoring the Constitution.

Doug Ross @ Journal

THE DUPLICITOUS CHRIS CHRISTIE: Man Who Refused to Oppose Obamacare Now Says It Was ‘A Train Wreck Anybody Could’ve Seen Coming’

Anybody could have seen it was a train wreck except him, apparently.

New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie slammed Obamacare as a “train wreck” in comments made at a Jersey radio station on November 25.

…Christie was asked why he didn’t join in on the state side and create a state exchange for Obamacare in New Jersey.
“This is just an awful law that made no sense and that’s why I didn’t get into a state exchange. And no, I have absolutely no regrets. In fact, I’m really glad that the train wreck’s not mine, it’s his,” the Governor said of Obama’s signature healthcare law.

Christie went on to slam the President as an example of someone who has never run anything in his life.
“This is a disaster. And it’s a train wreck that anybody who’s managed anything, ever in their lives could have seen coming.”
Governor Christie also said that the whole Obamacare program is a “failure.”

Christie’s comments are, at best, disingenuous.

This is a man who wouldn’t lift a finger to fight Obamacare, as Mark Levin observed at the time.

It costs nothing for the taxpayers of NJ to join the other states challenging Obamacare. All he needs to do is add his name on behalf of NJ to the other states. He didn’t take the lead and now he won’t bring up the rear. And just because Corzine ducked doesn’t mean he has to. For all the loud bravado, on this hugely important issue he’s a wimp. While others are doing all they can to kill Obamacare, spending the time and effort in federal court trying to protect the citizens of their states, Christie does nothing…

…Keep in mind that Obamacare creates massive new expenses for states via Medicaid. It’s fiscally irresponsible for Christie to sit on his butt and do nothin. Is this what they mean by frank talk? Maybe his supporters inside the beltway can help us better understand while they’re touting him for president.

I can’t wait for the 2016 election season to heat up.

Then we can hear the nation’s biggest electoral loser of 2012 — Karl “2% Victory Rate” Rove — whine that Christie is “the only one who can win”.

Which will be as accurate as his predictions about Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008.

Hat tip: BadBlue News.

Doug Ross @ Journal

NEW BOOK ON ROMNEY CAMPAIGN AND RUNNING MATE SELECTION: Chris Christie’s Checkered Past “Littered With Land Mines”

A new book on the 2012 presidential campaign by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will be released on Tuesday. In an excerpt published in Time, Romney strongly considered Chris Christie as a potential running mate. That is until the Romney team unearthed the New Jersey governor’s questionable background.

In the nine months since Christie’s endorsement of Romney in October 2011, Boston had formed a mixed view of the governor who George W. Bush had once nicknamed Big Boy. Christopher James Christie, 51, was less than two years into his first term as governor of New Jersey, suave as sand­paper and morbidly obese. He was also one of the most intriguing figures in American politics. His voice was like an air horn, cutting through the clutter. There was no one better at making the referendum case against Obama, at nailing the President to the wall with ferocity and caustic humor. Christie’s temperament was ideally suited to the unfolding tenor of the race. “We’re in a street fight, and he’s a street fighter,” Romney’s chief strategist Stuart Stevens told Romney. “He’s the best street fighter—and he’s comfortable saying things that you’re not comfortable saying.”

He was also a fundraising dynamo, but he and his staff were overbearing and hard to work with, demanding in ways that would have been unthinkable from any other surrogate. Months earlier, Christie had banned Romney from raising money in New Jersey until Christie had given the O.K. to do so—a move Romney found galling, like something out of The Sopranos. Are you kidding me, Mitt thought. He’s going to do that? There were plenty of New Jersey donors who’d given money to Mitt in 2008; now Christie was trying to impose a gag order on talking to them? “He sounds like the biggest asshole in the world,” Stevens griped to his partner, Russ Shriefer. More recently, Trenton insisted on private jets, lavish spreads of food, space for a massive entourage. Romney ally Wayne Berman looked at the bubble around Christie and thought, He’s not the President of the United States, you know.

Chronically behind schedule, Christie made a habit of showing up late to Romney fundraising events. In May he was so tardy to a donor reception at the Grand Hyatt New York that Mitt wound up taking the stage to speak before Christie arrived. When the Jersey governor finally made his grand entrance, it was as if Mitt had been his warm-up act…

…The list of questions Myers and her team had for Christie was extensive and troubling. More than once, Myers reported back that Trenton’s response was, in effect, Why do we need to give you that piece of information? Myers told her team, We have to assume if they’re not answering, it’s because the answer is bad.

The vetters were stunned by the garish controversies lurking in the shadows of his record. There was a 2010 Department of Justice inspector general’s investigation of Christie’s spending patterns in his job prior to the governorship, which criticized him for being “the U.S. attorney who most often exceeded the government [travel expense] rate without adequate justification” and for offering “insufficient, inaccurate, or no justification” for stays at swank hotels like the Four Seasons. There was the fact that Christie worked as a lobbyist on behalf of the Securities Industry Association at a time when Bernie Madoff was a senior SIA official—and sought an exemption from New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act

…There was Christie’s decision to steer hefty government contracts to donors and political allies like former Attorney General John Ashcroft, which sparked a congressional hearing. There was a defamation lawsuit brought against Christie arising out of his successful 1994 run to oust an incumbent in a local Garden State race. Then there was Todd Christie, the Governor’s brother, who in 2008 agreed to a settlement of civil charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission in which he acknowledged making “hundreds of trades in which customers had been systematically overcharged.” (Todd also oversaw a family foundation whose activities and purpose raised eyebrows among the vetters.) And all that was on top of a litany of glaring matters that sparked concern on Myers’ team: Christie’s other lobbying clients, his investments overseas, the YouTube clips that helped make him a star but might call into doubt his presidential temperament, and the status of his health.

Ted Newton, managing Project Goldfish under Myers, had come into the vet liking Christie for his brashness and straight talk. Now, surveying the sum and substance of what the team was finding, Newton told his colleagues, If Christie had been in the nomination fight against us, we would have destroyed him—he wouldn’t be able to run for governor again. When you look below the surface, Newton said, it’s not pretty…

…After 11 days of teeth-gnashing labor, several of the issues that the vetters had unearthed around Christie were still unresolved. Myers and her team were sticklers. Uncomfortable producing a final report they considered incomplete, they made a point of being meticulous about framing and flagging the problems, including a refrain in bold applied to a number of items.
On Todd Christie’s securities-fraud settlement: “[Governor] Christie has been asked to disclose whether Todd Christie incurred any monetary or other penalty as a result of the SEC/NYSE action. If Christie’s possible selection is to move forward, this item should be obtained.” On Christie’s defamation lawsuit: “Christie has been asked to provide the terms of the settlement of this matter. If Christie’s possible selection is to move forward, this item should be obtained.” On Christie’s household help: “Christie has been asked to provide the names and documented status of all domestic employees. This material has not been received. If Christie’s possible selection is to move forward, these items should be obtained.” On Christie’s lobbying clients: “Christie has provided only one of the twelve or so [public disclosure] filings made [in the time he was a lobbyist] … If Christie’s possible selection is to move forward, these items should be obtained.

Then there was this: “In response to the questionnaire, Governor Christie indicates that he has no health issues that would hinder him from serving as the vice-presidential nominee. Published reports indicate that Christie suffers from asthma and was briefly hospitalized last year after he suffered an asthma attack. He is also obese and has indicated that he struggles with his weight. ‘The weight exacerbates everything,’ he is quoted as saying. Christie has been asked to provide a detailed medical report. Christie has been asked to provide a copy of all medical records from his most recent physical examination. If Christie’s possible selection is to move forward, this item should be obtained.

Despite the language in the report indicating that Christie had not been sufficiently forthcoming with his medical records, Romney and Myers agreed that what he had provided put their minds at ease about his health. But the dossier on the Garden State governor’s background was littered with potential land mines. Between that and the pay-to play snag, there was no point in thinking about Christie further. With the clock running out, Romney pulled the plug again, this time for good…

Conservatives who’ve been following Christie already knew his background was extremely problematic.

File this story away for the run up to 2016 where the Karl Rove-led consultant class will tell us that Christie’s the only one who can win. Just like they told us McCain and Romney were the only ones who could win.

Hat tip: BadBlue News.

Doug Ross @ Journal

RED LINES, INDEED: Obama to provide air support for Al Qaeda and Ambassador Chris Stevens’ killers in Syria?

Guest post by Investors Business Daily

Mideast: The same al-Qaida-linked Ansar al-Sharia that killed four Americans in Benghazi is now training foreign jihadists to fight with Syria’s Islamist rebels. Are we about to provide them air support?

On Sept. 11, 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was crouched in a safe room waiting for help as the al-Qaida terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia was taking credit for the attack, according to emails reaching the White House and the State Department.

Ambassador Stevens did not survive, nor did Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Ty Woods, all killed by the terrorists of Ansar al-Sharia and other groups whose training camps surrounded Benghazi and were ignored by an oblivious Obama administration that now calls the scandal “phony.”

Well, phony scandals do not produce body bags.

President Obama promised to bring the Benghazi attackers to justice, which he has not. Ansar al-Sharia roams free. Ali Ani al-Harzi, a leading suspect in the attack and a member of Ansar al-Sharia who was taken into custody after fleeing Libya for Turkey and then sent to Tunisia, is also free.

“Make no mistake,” President Obama told reporters the morning after the attack, “we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”

Well, not exactly. Fellow suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala was tracked down by the New York Times and found to be peacefully enjoying a strawberry frappe at a luxury Tunisian hotel.

Harzi came to the attention of U.S. intelligence investigators after he posted real-time information to a social media platform about the assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi just as it was starting.

As Eli Lake reports in the Daily Beast, Harzi’s brother is believed to be Tariq Abu Ammar, a mid-level planner for al-Qaida’s franchise in Iraq. These days, Ammar’s main job is arranging the travel of fighters from North Africa to Syria’s al-Qaida-linked opposition.

As the Washington Free Beacon has reported, U.S. intelligence sources say Ansar al-Sharia is now running several training camps for jihadists destined for Syria in Benghazi and nearby Darnah, a port city further east.

The officials said the camps have been in operation since at least May and are part of a network that funnels foreign fighters to Syrian rebel groups. These include the al-Nusra Front, the most organized group fighting the Bashar Assad regime in Damascus. As we noted in June, Jabhat al-Nusra, with 7,000 fighters, is a branch of al-Qaida in Iraq that has publicly pledged allegiance to al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. It receives regular payments from al-Qaida in Iraq, and its goal is like that of a Middle Eastern caliphate.

In a revealing chart and article published by the Economist magazine, two of the three major fronts — the Syrian Islamic Front and the Syrian Liberation Front — are Islamist, as are 10 of the 12 identified rebel groups. We warned that arms destined for Syrian rebels would wind up in the hands of jihadists or al-Qaida backers.

All the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi seems to have accomplished is to make Libya a focal point for al-Qaida terrorist activity in North Africa. Two men believed to be Tunisians arrested on Aug. 3 carrying six passports, an AK-47 and foreign currency have provided some details of the camps.

The Tunisians stated that they were trained in small-arms use and were on their way to join Syrian rebels by traveling first to Benghazi, then Istanbul, and over land across Turkey and into northern Syria.

One of the men said he was an associate of Ansar al-Sharia’s leader Sufian Ben Qumu, an al-Qaida terrorist released from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2007.

That the United States may soon be fighting alongside Ansar al-Sharia jihadists in Syria is an indictment of the Obama administration’s clueless and recklessly naïve foreign policy and a slap in the face for the victims of Benghazi and their families.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal