June 30, 2016
A piece Thursday in The New York Times highlights how New Jersey's incredibly unpopular governor is becoming more and more influential in presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's presidential campaign — enough so that he's being considered as a potential running mate.
The article from Times political reporters Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman notes how Chris Christie, who dropped out of the race in February, has received backlash and been mocked on several occasions for his enthusiastic endorsement of Trump; incidents such as his seemingly fearful expression standing behind the candidate and allegations he fetched Trump's McDonald's order (Christie denied those) haven't helped Christie's image since he started stumping for him.
Yet, Christie has quietly become a powerful force in Trump's camp while acting in his official role as leader of his White House transition team, and the article makes two key revelations to prove it:
• Christie is being vetted as a possible vice presidential pick. Trump didn't rule Christie out when asked about the subject before, but many speculated that Christie would more likely be a choice for attorney general in a Trump administration. He's now a "leading contender" for VP, according to the Times.
• Christie had a say in the firing of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowski was a controversial figure in the campaign, particularly because of a physical encounter he had with a female reporter. He was relieved this past month after clashing with operatives brought in to help the campaign, partly because Christie "privately urged" Trump to do so, the Times reported.
Another fascinating tidbit from the article is the claim that Christie — known for his boisterous and outspoken ways — has privately admitted that Trump took away the blustery, "I'm not politically correct" role he had hoped to play in the Republican primaries:
Mr. Christie has also acknowledged to friends that Mr. Trump seized much of the political space Mr. Christie had hoped to occupy in his own presidential run — that of a blunt-spoken leader with an expansive media profile and a forceful message on terrorism.
You can read the entire Times piece here.