The New Jersey Star Ledger's Paul Mulshine has followed the career of Chris Christie for nearly two years. And he doesn't quite recognize the current version.
[The RGC] Chris Christie sounds like a heck of guy — not at all like the Chris Christie I have been following closely for almost two years... [For example, after] a number of legislators held a press conference in the Statehouse to announce they were... protesting the new screening policies of the [TSA, Christie] declined an offer to back the resolution because, his spokesman said, it was a federal issue...
...Just for fun, I put up a post on my blog asking readers to predict how long it would take before Christie came out against the TSA. If you bet on last Monday, you would have won. In response to a question from a kid at one of those town-hall meetings he holds, Christie announced the screenings were "too invasive."
That’s just one instance in a pattern obvious to those of us who’ve been covering Christie since he entered state politics. Name an issue — from judicial activism to the Highlands Act — and you will see Christie tiptoeing up to it and finally committing when the consensus is clear.
On issues such as guns and abortion, Christie’s views have moved rightward over the years, in remarkable harmony with the rightward drift of the GOP primary electorate... His position in favor of New Jersey’s participation in the cap-and-trade program, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, for example, would be a non-starter with Republican primary voters. Sure enough, he recently made an incremental move away from that when he told a participant in another town hall that he is becoming skeptical about man-made global warming.
Some took that as a sign that he’s serious about running for president. If so, he’ll have to start inching away from other positions associated with RINOs, or "Republicans In Name Only," such as his mushy stands on gun rights and immigration amnesty.
Christie's oft-changing positions are the antithesis of the Tea Party's immutable principles.
• Global warming.
• Gun control.
• Amnesty for illegal aliens.
• Mike Castle.
And those are but a few of Christie's amorphous policy positions.
Some great YouTube sound-bites have immortalized Christie's fight against the public sector unions. And there is much to appreciate in his stand.
But it is clear that the Governor has substantial work ahead of him. After all, Constitutional conservatives rightfully fear the nomination of another "Maverick", the positions of whom are rooted only in political expediency.