New Jersey governor and Republican Governors Association Chair Chris Christie deflected blame on the RGA elections scandal when asked by a New Jersey news outlet for comment. Christie instead faulted Tom Tancredo for losing the election—the same candidate who the RGA allegedly subsidized attack ads against through the money funneling scheme.
Christie stated: “And what I’ve found most of the time —especially when I’ve lost —is it’s my fault when I lose. So, candidates who lose elections should not be looking to blame other people. They should just take the responsibility out on themselves.”
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Christie leaves questions unanswered such as why the RGA—a group with an expressed mission of electing Republican governors—would contribute money to the Republican Attorney Generals Association. A paper trail points to the RGA colluding with RAGA in funneling money to a Massuchusetts based super PAC which then made its way back to organizations in Colorado that funded attack ads against Tancredo.
For Colorado voters, the issue is not who won or lost. Outrage stems from outside groups—operating under the auspices of elected Republican leadership—interfering in state primaries. While there was nothing illegal about the movement of funds, the sticking point is the RGA hiding its involvement in the Colorado primary. This could prove problematic should Christie seek the Republican presidential nomination for 2016 as the scandal continues to gain momentum in Colorado.
The RGA scandal remains a hot topic in grassroots organizations and among party activists. Colorado State party chair Ryan Call was on the receiving end of a barrage of questions that implicated either his endorsement and/or knowledge of the scandal. Activists have also begun calling on Republican candidate Bob Beauprez to issue a strong statement denouncing the actions of the RGA and RAGA. One party insider who asked to remain anonymous spoke of a possible “undervote”campaign in which Republican voters would be encouraged to return their ballots without marking any box for any gubernatorial candidate.
Tancredo—who has thrown his support behind Beauprez—provided Politichicks this response to Christie’s refusal to address the role of the NGA in the Colorado primary:
“Perhaps the most annoying thing about this whole sordid affair is the fact that Christie doesn’t even have the guts to admit the fact that he and the RGA interfered with the race. If he really wanted to be able to use the Sargent Schultz (“I know nothing”) defense, he should have worked harder at laundering the money. Look I know the Republican Establishment looks at me as the bete noire of Colorado politics but there are plenty of above board tactics that they could have used to oppose my candidacy. Instead, they chose a tactic, the nature of which was underhanded and deceitful, and far more familiar to Christie.”
As Colorado continues to demand answers, Christie has moved on to a new scandal for publicly calling the gubernatorial bid by New York’s Republican candidate Rob Astorino as a “lost cause.”