Two events are dominating the news, tropical storm Isaac and the GOP convention. But the New York Daily News has an intriguing report that Governor Chris Christie “turned down” an offer to be nominated vice-president, in part because he isn’t sure Romney can win:
Romney’s top aides had demanded Christie step down as the state’s chief executive because if he didn’t, strict pay-to-play laws would have restricted the nation’s largest banks from donating to the campaign — since those banks do business with New Jersey. But Christie adamantly refused to sacrifice his post, believing that being Romney’s running mate wasn’t worth the gamble. “[Christie] felt, at one point, that [President] Obama could lose this. And, look, there still is that chance. But he knows, right now, you have to say it’s unlikely,” one source said.
It is a little more complicated than that. Essentially, Romney’s people made it clear that the price of joining the ticket was resigning the top office in the Garden State. If Christie failed to do that, campaign finance rules would have restricted the money that Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Citibank could give to the ticket.
So if Christie resigns and the ticket loses, suddenly one of the most popular Republican governors is completely off-stage. It makes perfect sense that Christie would not fool around like this, but this story could pick up a little juice heading into Christie’s keynote speech.
Personally, I’ve soured a bit on Christie. New Jersey’s unemployment rate is terrible. The state’s financial picture is little better. Now the state is courting an enormous fight with the Washington over sports-betting, which the state legalized in definance of a federal ban. It might be a worthy fight, but it also shows how desperate for revenue states like Jersey have become.