BY TOM HESTER SR.
Gov. Chris Christie is spending Monday in Iowa where he was a key speaker at Gov. Terry Branstad’s education conference in the afternoon in Des Moines and hosted a fundraising dinner for Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in the evening.
Christie’s Iowa Education Summit address was entitled, “The Year of Education in New Jersey.’’
King, a political ally of Christie, is a cable news-friendly conservative. Christie, at least in part, is showing his gratitude to the congressman for helping him during a rough 2009 congressional hearing in Washington, King adviser Chuck Laudner told the Associated Press.
Christie, then the Republican nominee for governor, faced questioning at a Judiciary subcommittee hearing in the then-Democratic-controlled House about no-bid contracts he awarded as U.S. attorney for New Jersey.
Earlier in the day, King said President Obama could face impeachment if the federal government goes into default. King’s comments come as Obama is negotiating with the Republican-controlled House over a debt reduction package that includes raising the country’s debt limit by Aug. 2.
King is in a potentially difficult race for reelection to a sixth term against former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack, the wife of U.S. Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.
Christie will return to New Jersey state affairs on Tuesday but Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the state Democratic chairman, offered criticism about the governor traveling to Iowa to promote King.
“Chris Christie has become New Jersey’s Sarah Palin, continuously traveling around the country to tell people that he’s not interested in running for president,” Wisniewski said. “Instead of staying to help New Jersey seniors and families struggling under budget cuts and rising unemployment, Christie decided to once again raise his own national profile by campaigning out of state in Iowa.
“Today, Christie is trying to re-elect a congressman who believes it is ‘common sense’ to engage in racial profiling and said that electing Barack Obama would have the terrorists 'dance in the streets,’’’ Wisniewski said “This is just the latest example of how Chris Christie is out of touch with the values and struggles of New Jersey families. As our state sees unemployment continue to rise, Chris Christie runs away from our struggling workers to try and find himself a new job.”