Kasich’s Super PAC Attacks Christie in New Hampshire Mailer

Chris Christie is under fire from several of his center-right GOP rivals.

Chris Christie speaks during a campaign stop in Exeter, New Hampshire on Dec. 19.
AP Photo/Mary Schwalm
Adam Wollner
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Adam Wollner
Jan. 5, 2016, 11:44 a.m.

Pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates vy­ing to emerge as the Re­pub­lic­an es­tab­lish­ment pick in New Hamp­shire are zero­ing in on the same threat: a re­vital­ized Chris Christie.

In its most dir­ect at­tack to date on the New Jer­sey gov­ernor, who is gain­ing trac­tion in the first-in-the-na­tion GOP primary, the su­per PAC sup­port­ing John Kasich sent mail­ers to Gran­ite State voters Monday cri­ti­ciz­ing Christie’s eco­nom­ic re­cord in of­fice.

“How will Re­pub­lic­ans de­fend his failed re­cord?” the mail­er from New Day for Amer­ica reads be­fore list­ing sev­er­al news clip­pings from over the past two years un­fa­vor­able to Christie. The mail­er con­cludes: “His budget isn’t bal­anced. His cred­it rat­ing is drop­ping. His eco­nomy is fail­ing. Chris Christie: Tough talk. Weak re­cord.”

Con­nie Wehrkamp, a spokes­wo­man for the group, wouldn’t dis­close how many house­holds re­ceived the mail­er, only say­ing that they “hit a siz­able uni­verse.”  

The mail­er is just the latest in a line of at­tacks Christie has faced in re­cent weeks from his GOP rivals who are also hop­ing to win over the in­de­pend­ent and more mod­er­ate voters that play a pre­val­ent role in the New Hamp­shire primary.

Con­ser­vat­ive Solu­tions PAC, which backs Marco Ru­bio, began air­ing two TV ads in New Hamp­shire Tues­day cri­ti­ciz­ing Christie. And the pro-Jeb Bush Right to Rise su­per PAC hit the state’s air­waves last week with a spot con­trast­ing the former Flor­ida gov­ernor’s re­cord with that of Christie and Kasich.

New Day has gone after Christie be­fore. Last month, the group launched a TV ad in New Hamp­shire that briefly swiped at Christie over New Jer­sey’s budget woes. And Kasich tar­geted his fel­low gov­ernor dur­ing an ap­pear­ance Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“Here in Ohio, we have a bal­anced budget. They don’t over in New Jer­sey,” Kasich said. “Our cred­it has been strengthened. Their cred­it has been down­graded. We’ve got more jobs.”

But un­til these past few days, Kasich and his al­lies had largely re­served their harshest cri­ti­cisms for Don­ald Trump, who is lead­ing the GOP field in New Hamp­shire polls by a wide mar­gin. Christie has climbed to fourth place in the state, ac­cord­ing to the latest Real Clear Polit­ics polling av­er­age, put­ting him with­in strik­ing dis­tance of Ru­bio and a few points ahead of Kasich and Bush.

“With a Demo­crat­ic-con­trolled le­gis­lature fight­ing him every step of the way, not only has Gov­ernor Christie been a lead­er in se­cur­ing land­mark re­forms to the pen­sion, ten­ure, and bail sys­tems, but New Jer­sey just re­por­ted the strongest private-sec­tor job growth the state has seen in 15 years, with the un­em­ploy­ment drop­ping nearly in half since Christie came in­to of­fice to 5.3 per­cent,” Christie cam­paign spokes­wo­man Sam­antha Smith said. “We’ll de­fend that re­cord any day of the week.”

This art­icle has been up­dated with com­ment from the Christie cam­paign. 

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