Ashley Pierce is a political science freshman and Mustang Daily conservative columnist.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was Republicans’ Christ-like figure just last year. He was set to single-handedly save the party and bring it back to popular standing amongst independent voters. Christie could do no wrong as he helped to reduce New Jersey’s deficit (Gee, wouldn’t that be nice to do with the $16 trillion the country’s hiking up?).
Then the poor guy went and commented on what a swell job President Obama did handling the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. There were pictures all over the Internet and newspapers of the two of them looking all hunky-dory, talking very seriously in an airplane. It was adorable.
Christie’s praises came at a rather bad time though, just a few days before the 2012 Presidential Election. Oops. Obama won, Romney lost and it’s all Christie’s fault — except for the fact that none of it is.
While Republicans may be bitter their once-Superman might have aided in Obama’s win, Christie only did what was right. He didn’t intentionally seek out news reporters to tell them how well Obama handled the crisis. Christie didn’t insist we all kneel at Obama’s throne and kick Romney to the curb. No, Christie merely responded with what he believed to be the truth when reporters asked, “How is Obama handling the aftermath of Sandy?”
If Christie had lied just to undermine the president, would the American public really want another liar as candidate in the 2016 presidential election? We have plenty of those already. If Christie had lied about Obama’s grace when handling the storm, respect for him would, and should, have been lost. Instead, he demonstrated what an honest and truthful human being would do. Isn’t that what we need in office, rather than liars and manipulators?
Many in the Republican Party fail to see it that way, as many have cold-shouldered him since. The GOP hasn’t even invited Christie to the Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC), which is hosted in Washington, D.C. every year and brings together some of the most prominent names in the conservative spotlight to speak and create the party’s agenda for the year.
This year’s list of speakers, while full of bright, young conservative journalists such as Katie Pavlich (whom the Cal Poly Republican Club recently brought to Cal Poly to speak) and Steven Crowder (whom I hope the club brings next *hint, hint*), also contains many future hopeful conservative presidential candidates.
Among those on the list are Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul (the newest Republican savior), Paul Ryan and more. Lacking from the list? Chris Christie. The male conservatives were begging him to run for president just last year. When he announced he had no intention of running, tears were shed as conservatives wept. It was a dark day.
How quickly the tears dried.
Shame on CPAC coordinators for not inviting Christie. This is not a war in which one side of the political spectrum cannot praise the other for a good job. Republicans and Democrats don’t have to agree and can debate for years to come. But if we are so consumed by ideological differences that we ignore a swell job by another party, then we have failed this country.
The debates and different views are frustrating, tiring and sometimes seem downright hopeless. But our freedom to disagree and have such discussions are what keep our country prosperous. Every Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green party-er, etc. will have different strengths, whether that’s balancing a budget, domestic policies or foreign relations. It’s ignorant and hateful for one party to fail to see that about a leader from another.
Christie’s ability to compliment President Obama even when they disagree on many policies demonstrates maturity and intelligence. So here’s to ending the shunning of Gov. Christie. Conservatives could use the popularity for once. Not to mention the guy is sassy — and everyone could always use more of that (which is totally why Crowder should come to campus soon, what a coincidence *cough, cough*).