GOP: Don’t stand so close to Obama

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In the wake of President Obama’s convincing victory over Mitt Romney earlier this month, Republican pundits and leaders have been offering up all kinds of explanations (excuses) as to why their candidate was defeated.


Some of them no doubt have merit: the hard-line approach that Romney took on immigration during the primaries that scared off Hispanic voters; women’s reactions to GOP candidates talking about “legitimate rape” and such; the failure of Romney and running mate Paul Ryan to flesh out their proposals for the country’s future, and the fear that they weren’t doing so because much of the populace would find the details distasteful; and, of course, Romney’s “47 percent” video.


And then there were the less-fact-based theories, such as fringe claims of voting irregularities or the premise that pretty much all the people who voted for Obama were doing so because they are layabouts who wanted to continue suckling at the government teat (Romney’s 47 percent).


But it seems there’s plenty of blame to go around, and lately one of the prime targets is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose crime was to cooperate with President Obama in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, rather than treat the president as if he had a raging case of ebola.


After the Jersey coast was ravaged by the hurricane, the president visited, consulted with the governor and pledged the help of the federal government in the recovery effort. Christie appeared side by side with the president, viewed the damage with him from the presidential helicopter and was quick to praise Obama for his assistance, tossing around terms like “outstanding” and “incredibly supportive.” That, according to some in the GOP, coming as it did just days before the election, was what ultimately sunk Romney’s hopes of claiming the White House.


Hardly. It’s tough to imagine that very many folks, based solely on Christie’s kind words for the president, bolted from their Barcaloungers to announce a shift of their fealty from Romney to the president. The people who based their presidential decisions on Christie’s words and actions most likely could be counted on just a few sets of hands.


But what of the underlying issue that some in the GOP have with Christie’s behavior?


According to a New York Times report, Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News’ parent company, practically demanded Christie come out and reassert his support of Romney, which he did.


The Times story said Christie also heard from deep-pocketed donors to the Romney campaign, who criticized him for, among other things, standing too close to the president at an airport. Apparently he should have told the leader of the free world, who came bearing promises of federal aid, to keep his distance.


Christie also reportedly was buttonholed by GOP leaders at the recent Republican Governors Association meeting and told of their displeasure. The Times said the governor replied, “I will not apologize for doing my job.”


And that’s exactly what Christie was doing. He put politics aside and worked with someone from the opposing party in an effort to do what was best for the people he represents. The country would be in much better hands if some in Washington, D.C. – in both parties – would follow his lead.


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