New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who may end up running for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, faces some bad news from his own people. His approval ratings have hit a three-year low, with only 49 percent approving of the job he’s doing, and 47 percent disapproving, according to a Quinnipiac poll reported in the Washington Post.
He’s not running for re-election as governor, but as a potential presidential candidate, that’s not good.
The poll also showed division among the people about whether Christie is a leader or a bully. Republicans say leader, Democrats say bully. His image as a bully came, at least in part, from the “Bridgegate” scandal, in which some of Christie’s aids blocked a bridge into a town to retaliate against its mayor. If that’s what Republicans think is leadership, then it’s no wonder they’re causing so many problems.
The Quinnipiac poll also found that 49 percent of the people thought Christie’s investigation of Bridgegate was “whitewashed.” They didn’t believe that it was a sincere investigation into what had happened. Only 43 percent did. 49 percent also think he’s not honest, and feel they can’t trust him.
Ezra Klein of the Washington Post said at the time of Bridgegate that he didn’t believe the scandal would destroy Christie’s chances for the White House, but there’s inevitably something that will. Klein said that Christie is definitely someone who uses his current office to punish, intimidate, and humiliate his enemies, whether those enemies are perceived or real.
An article in The New York Times talks about how Christie has always managed to wave of implications and outright accusations that he’s sought revenge on people who’ve angered him, or questioned him. Those incidents, however, have stuck with people, particularly the residents of New Jersey who’ve had to witness it—or experience it—firsthand.
The Times piece lists several other instances, besides Bridgegate, where it appeared that Christie sought retribution for criticism or refusal to support him. So is it any wonder that his approval ratings have tanked in the deeply divided state? He’s got a very tough road ahead of him if he thinks he’s running for president.