In Iowa, Christie Under Fire From Conservative Group

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie attends his election night event after winning a second term at the Asbury Park Convention Hall on November 05, 2013 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Incumbent Governor Chris Christie defeated his Democratic opponent Barbara Buono by a commanding margin. 
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Adam Wollner
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Adam Wollner
July 14, 2014, 8:05 p.m.

As New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie pre­pares to make his first trip to Iowa since 2011, the po­ten­tial Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate is com­ing un­der fire—from a con­ser­vat­ive group.

The Ju­di­cial Crisis Net­work is launch­ing an on­line ad Tues­day ac­cus­ing Christie of ap­point­ing lib­er­al judges to the New Jer­sey Su­preme Court. The non­profit group says it is spend­ing $75,000 on the three-day ef­fort—which in­cludes 90-second and 15-second ver­sions of the ad—in the Hawkeye State, which hosts the first pres­id­en­tial caucuses.

“Chris Christie prom­ised to change New Jer­sey’s lib­er­al Su­preme Court,” the ad’s nar­rat­or says. “Five open­ings later, no change.”

The on­line ad also fea­tures an im­age of the gov­ernor shak­ing hands with Pres­id­ent Obama in what ap­pears to be the af­ter­math of Su­per­storm Sandy. Con­ser­vat­ives had cri­ti­cized his friend­li­ness to­ward the pres­id­ent in the days be­fore the 2012 elec­tions, say­ing it gave the Obama cam­paign a late boost. 

On­line ads don’t have the reach or im­pact of tele­vi­sion ads—es­pe­cially this far out from the 2016 elec­tion—but the Ju­di­cial Crisis Net­work’s cam­paign could pre­view a line of at­tack against Christie in the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial primary.

Christie, who has said he is con­sid­er­ing a White House bid, is slated to head­line three fun­draisers in Iowa on Thursday be­ne­fit­ing the Re­pub­lic­an Gov­ernors As­so­ci­ation, which he chairs, Iowa Gov. Terry Bran­stad, and the GOP state House speak­er. Christie hasn’t vis­ited the state since Decem­ber 2011, when he cam­paigned for Mitt Rom­ney.

Iowa isn’t the only early-vot­ing state on Christie’s up­com­ing sched­ule: He will also head­line a fun­draiser for the New Hamp­shire Re­pub­lic­an Party at the end of the month.

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