BY GINA G. SCALA
And they said it couldn’t be done; no nonsense Republican Gov. Chris Christie making friends with a union.
But that is exactly what happened Dec. 18 when the Laborers’ International Union of North America endorsed Christie at a rally in Aberdeen, the Associated Press reported.
“This campaign is just started, but I doubt I’ll have better days than the day I was endorsed by the Laborers’ International Union of North America,” Christie told a sea of construction workers in orange shirts and waving “Jersey Jobs!” signs.
Ray Pocino, LIUNA vice president, told the governor he had earned the union’s support and the right to finish what he had started. Pocino ran through a list of projects the Christie administration has helped move along, including the $3.7 billion American Dream entertainment complex near MetLife Stadium.
Christie’s closest competition, according to recent polls, is Newark Mayor Corey Booker should he decide to throw his hat into the gubernatorial race. Currently, the only Democrat to officially say they will oppose Christie is state Sen. Barbara Buono. Her camp has yet to comment on Christie’s endorsement.
“The fact remains that this governor’s policies have hurt the working people of New Jersey,” Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chairman of the state Democratic Party said in a statement, the Star Ledger of Newark reported. “We look forward to showing a contrast between the failed administration of this governor and what our Democratic nominee will do for New Jersey’s middle class as governor in 2014.”
Still, the Democrats can’t refute the governor’s approval rating has soared in the wake of his response to Hurricane Sandy. And a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Tuesday found Christie is the favorite among likely Republican presidential candidates four years from now.
"We're not connecting with Americans on the issues that matter most to them. We haven't had the best candidates," Christie told the Huffington Post. "I believe that Mitt Romney is a good man. I was out supporting him before anyone else, but he simply didn't connect with Americans."
As for embracing President Barack Obama just days before the 2012 election and days after Sandy wrecked havoc in the Garden State, Christie said GOP candidate Mitt Romney was aware of his intentions.
"Mitt Romney knew that I was doing what had to be done. Then the media and political operatives got involved and it turned into a story," Christie said in the Huffington Post interview. "It's just stupid for anyone to be upset with my reaction, even if it was a week before the election."