The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 3, 2013

NJ Gov. Christie blasts Boehner, Republicans

(Continued)

A former prosecutor who flirted with running for president, Christie significantly raised his national profile this year, positioning himself as a tough-talking, no-nonsense chief executive. He delivered the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa and hopscotched around the country to campaign for Mitt Romney and Republican Congressional candidates.

But there has been little love lost of late between Christie and some members of his party. Before blasting Boehner, Christie drew the ire of some Republicans after touring the storm-damaged Jersey shore with President Barack Obama.

The two men embraced on the tarmac in Atlantic City days before the election and Christie effusively praised the president's handling of the storm. Christie said his loyalty to the people of New Jersey trumped politics.

Christie is seeking re-election, saying he wants to see through the Sandy recovery, something that a failure to vote on the bill is tying up, he said, keeping people from rebuilding homes and businesses.

In a Republican Party trying to figure out what it stands for, Christie could be positioning himself as both a potential conservative candidate who is not beholden to Tea Party notions and a pragmatist who is willing to work across party lines to get the job done.

Should he plan to run for president in 2016, Christie's stance could gain traction with an electorate that generally disdains Washington — a stance that Christie drove home Wednesday.

"It's why the American people hate Congress," Christie said of the failure to vote on the Sandy bill.

Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, said Christie's attack is emblematic of a division emerging in the Republican party between conservative members calling for spending cuts wherever possible and others who think allocating money is necessary in certain cases.

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