Chris Christie update: Gov. attempts to fight back

A new memo reveals how Christie hopes to survive

Published February 5, 2014 3:55PM (EST)

Chris Christie                           (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Chris Christie (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Tuesday saw no major legal developments in either of the main Christie controversies — Bridgegate and the alleged blackmailing of Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer — which, by recent standards, has to be considered good news for New Jersey's governor. But that's not to say there weren't some real political shifts. In particular, it appears that the more Christie is mired in scandal, the more diehard Republicans, in the media and the public at large, are coming to his defense.

Here's the latest:

  • A new poll from the Wall Street Journal and NBC finds that while Christie's top-line numbers continue to sink, the past month of bad news has, curiously, resulted in respondents the pollsters categorize as "Core GOP" voters liking Christie even more. In October of 2013, 32 percent of these respondents approved of Chris Christie. That number has now jumped by 10 percentage points, reaching 42 percent. The Journal emphasizes that the poll was conducted before the latest back-and-forth between Christie's team and David Wildstein's lawyer, and that such a specific group of respondents means it's a small sample size. Still, as the Journal notes, Christie's last month can be described with "a narrative of Mr. Christie versus the media" and that "may help him with some Republican voters."
  • A new Christie memo, obtained by ABC, outlines how the governor and his team plan to extract themselves from their current situation. The memo outlines four new strategies: 1. "Gov gets back to business" 2. "The answer is unequivocally no" 3. "NYT finally admits their story was wrong" and 4. "Report surfaces of Zimmer shutting down Sandy projects over politics" Christie is clearly following this game-plan already, using the phrase "unequivocally no" during a recent radio appearance.
  • The final bullet point in the memo references a story from the right-wing website the Daily Caller. You can read it here, but the gist is that Zimmer once closed a tourism-focused website because a co-creator decided to run for office against a Zimmer ally. The report then goes on to resurface charges against Zimmer from disgruntled former city employees. There's nothing in the article to exonerate Christie or address Zimmer's claims, but there is a good amount of insinuation and innuendo.
  • Meanwhile, Christie is about to go on a fundraising tour for the Republican Governors Association, of which he is chairman.

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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