By Michael Aron
Chief Political Correspondent
Is Chris Christie tilting to the right as he positions himself for a possible run for president?
Last night on his monthly radio call-in show he backed away from the DREAM Act, at least from the version that passed the state Senate last week.
Three weeks before Election Day, Christie had switched a long-held position and come out in favor of granting in-state tuition to the children of undocumented immigrants.
But not last night.
“I want tuition equality for folks but I don’t want a program that’s richer than the federal program and richer than other states, which could make us become a magnet state for people,” Christie said during “Ask the Governor.”
Senate President Steve Sweeney quickly issued a statement saying, “The governor never misses an opportunity to disappoint. When he was running for governor, he supported it and now that he’s running for president, he’s against it.”
Christie is also taking heat from national Democrats for a fund-raising trip next week for Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who won’t let same-sex couples in her state’s National Guard apply for benefits in state-run buildings.
“It’s a very very narrow path he;s got to follow,” said Rutgers Political Science Professor Ross Baker.
Baker, an expert on national politics, says Christie is very agile when it comes to the social issues.
“He again, on paper, looks acceptable to social conservatives. He’s very good at waltzing around the most controversial aspects either by bluster or subtlety of expression,” Baker said.
He doesn’t think Christie is tacking to the right.
“I don’t see that. I think he feels he is conservative enough,” Baker said.
On a day when a nor’easter could be barreling down, Christie went on vacation to an undisclosed beach location out of state.
“Cause I’m going to be on the beach,” said Christie.
With the distractions of running for higher office and as the new chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Christie will be traveling a lot, Baker says, but will strike a balance.
“He will be back in the state enough obviously not to put himself in position of being an absentee governor,” Baker said.