POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Despite Low Poll Numbers, Christie Holds On Going Into Third GOP Debate

The third Republican presidential debate is tonight. Gov. Christie is in the debate with polling averages that put him in a tie for last with Rand Paul and John Kasich. Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron talks about Christie as he goes into tonight’s debate.

“It’s tempting to say that this is do or die or make or break for Chris Christie,” he said, “but I don’t think it really is. I think he can have a lackluster performance and still limp along, one, two, three percent in the polls. It’s true he’s having a terrible time getting traction in the polls, but the strategy in his camp is ‘hold on, hold on, others may fall by the wayside, an avenue may open up for us.’ that’s what they’re trying to do.”

Christie has still managed to stay in the news and make news. There was the report earlier this week that he was thrown off of an Amtrak train which “turned out to be more like he was asked to leave the quiet car and politely did so,” Aron said. “There was the comment on Face The Nation that the black lives matter movement has been calling for the death of police officers. That’s been quite controversial. He, up in New Hampshire, made a comment about the nation’s need for affordable housing which caused affordable housing advocates back here in New Jersey to guffaw because they think he’s fought them every step of the way in trying to create affordable housing. And yesterday on morning television he was asked, “what’s Donald Trump’s appeal?” And he said it’s just his celebrity. He has 100 percent name recognition. It’s not really his political acumen. So, Christie continues to make news.”

Despite this Aron says that Christie’s camp remains levelheaded. “I know there are some supporters that are panicked, and there are also plenty of people that think he should just end this run right now, but, I’m told that inside the camp they’re very patient. Slow and steady wins the race, they said. If the polls are low ignore them, that’s their rule of thumb, and they think they have enough money to keep going forward.”

The expectation for tonight? “His campaign is saying that since this is a CNBC debate, that’s it’s going to focus on economic issues and that’s right in his wheelhouse,” Aron said. “They say he’s the only one with a real reform plan for entitlement. They say he’s the guy who took on the public employee unions over pension and benefits, so they see tonight as an opportunity for Christie.”