Republican Governors Want Christie to Remain Chair of the RGA

Christie kept a low profile in Washington at the governors’ meetings, but he’s still playing a leading role.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks to the media after attending a hearing on the drilling moratorium in July 2010 in New Orleans.
National Journal
Karyn Bruggeman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Karyn Bruggeman
Feb. 24, 2014, 1:07 p.m.

New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie kept a low pro­file dur­ing his week­end in Wash­ing­ton at the na­tion­al gov­ernors’ an­nu­al winter meet­ing, but he re­ceived an im­port­ant en­dorse­ment of his chair­man­ship of the Re­pub­lic­an Gov­ernors As­so­ci­ation.

Asked wheth­er Christie’s con­tro­ver­sies back home had be­come an un­ne­ces­sary dis­trac­tion for the RGA, Louisi­ana Gov. Bobby Jin­dal said he should re­main in charge.

“Yes, I think he can be and has been an ef­fect­ive lead­er of RGA. I think he should re­main. The real­ity is Chris, he has taken re­spons­ib­il­ity; he said he will co­oper­ate with all of the in­vest­ig­a­tions. I don’t know what more we can ask him to do bey­ond that so, yes, he can be ef­fect­ive,” Jin­dal said. He em­phas­ized that the “RGA is more im­port­ant than just any one gov­ernor. It’s not about the chair­man; it wasn’t about the chair­man when I was chair­man last year. It’s not about the chair­man this year.”

Jin­dal chaired the Re­pub­lic­an Gov­ernors As­so­ci­ation in 2013, and Christie suc­ceeded him this year. Both are con­sidered po­ten­tial pres­id­en­tial con­tenders in 2016.

Jin­dal was joined at the RGA press con­fer­ence by fel­low Re­pub­lic­an Govs. Nikki Haley of South Car­o­lina, Bill Haslam of Ten­ness­ee, and Rick Perry of Texas. Haley and Haslam each said they would wel­come a vis­it from Christie in their states as they seek reelec­tion this year. Haley de­scribed Christie as “my friend,” and said “I don’t think we have any dates in the works yet, but I would ex­pect it at some point.”

“If Chris came down we would love to have him,” said Haslam.

Jin­dal also de­flec­ted ques­tions about his own pres­id­en­tial am­bi­tions and em­phas­ized that the fo­cus at this point should be on House and Sen­ate races and the 36 gubernat­ori­al con­tests at hand in 2014. “My hon­est an­swer is, I don’t know what I’m go­ing to be do­ing in 2016,” Jin­dal said.

The event served as an op­por­tun­ity for Re­pub­lic­ans to dir­ectly re­spond to com­ments made by Pres­id­ent Obama at a Demo­crat­ic Gov­ernors As­so­ci­ation fun­draiser on Thursday, when Obama said GOP gov­ernors are “pur­su­ing the same top-down, failed eco­nom­ic policies that don’t help Amer­ic­ans get ahead,” and “they’re pay­ing for it by cut­ting in­vest­ments in the middle class.” The com­ments set the stage for vari­ous par­tis­an un­der­tones that per­meated the en­tire week­end’s activ­it­ies.

After a bi­par­tis­an event at the White House on Monday, Jin­dal went on the at­tack against the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. He ac­cused the pres­id­ent of pro­mot­ing a “min­im­um-wage eco­nomy” and said the White House is “wav­ing the white flag of sur­render when it comes to growth and op­por­tun­ity.” He re­peatedly ref­er­enced his Na­tion­al Re­view op-ed pub­lished earli­er that day call­ing on the pres­id­ent to use ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tions to en­act a range of re­forms viewed fa­vor­ably by Re­pub­lic­ans.

Ul­ti­mately, Jin­dal said the morn­ing meet­ing at the White House was “re­spect­ful.”

“Nobody was ugly to each oth­er,” he said, but noted the talks were marked by “ser­i­ous sub­stant­ive dis­agree­ments” on policy is­sues, spe­cific­ally on ap­prov­al of the Key­stone XL pipeline, im­ple­ment­a­tion of the Af­ford­able Care Act, edu­ca­tion policy at the state level, and an in­crease in the fed­er­al min­im­um wage.

Haley, however, claimed the tone “com­pletely changed” to­ward the end of the meet­ing when Obama brought up newly pro­posed cuts to the de­fense budget, which will af­fect the Na­tion­al Guard.

“It wasn’t just a change in tone to Re­pub­lic­an gov­ernors — you saw it to all gov­ernors,” Haley said. “It chilled the room.”

What We're Following See More »
ANOTHER NUCLEAR OPTION?
Byrd Rule Could Trip Up Health Legislation
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”

Source:
ONE WEEK
Senate Votes To Fund Government
13 hours ago
BREAKING
ON TO SENATE
House Passes Spending Bill
13 hours ago
BREAKING

The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.

PRESIDENT CALLS MEDICAID FUNDS A “BAILOUT”
Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Source:
POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
1 days ago
BREAKING

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login