Afternoon Fix: Former New Jersey governor says Christie talk is ‘real’
Tom Kean says Christie is really, seriously, considering running for president. Rick Perry is still in the lead, Bachmann thinks the Texas governor doesn’t know foreign policy, and Newt Gingrich is staying at Nikki Haley’s hosue.
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EARLIER ON THE FIX:
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
* Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean (R), an ally to current Gov. Chris Christie (R), says his old friend is still thinking about running for president. “It’s real,” Kean told National Review. “He’s giving it a lot of thought. I think the odds are a lot better now than they were a couple weeks ago.” Here’s our take on the pros and cons. A Christie adviser had no comment, but Christie will deliver a speech tomorrow at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library entitled, “Real American Exceptionalism.”
* Despite his middling performance in the last two primary debates, a new CNN poll finds Texas Gov. Rick Perry is still on top of the GOP pack, with 28 percent to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s 21 percent. As in other polls, Romney fares better than Perry against President Obama.
* Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is now attacking Perry for what she considers his shallow understanding of foreign policy. “We can’t compromise this time,” she said at an event in Iowa. “We can’t settle for a candidate who doesn’t understand the problems that we have in the Middle East, who doesn’t understand the problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
* On CBS’ Early Show this morning, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said she thought President Obama’s demand this week that the group “shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying” was “curious.” Waters argued that Obama never tells Jewish, Hispanic or gay groups that push them on issues to “stop complaining.”
* Herman Cain has split from congressional Republicans in their fight to offset disaster funding by cutting auto subsidies. “We should not play politics with tragedies,” the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO said on CNN today. “I would make sure that FEMA got the money that it needed, and if I have to go find the offsets later, find it later.” Another government shutdown is looming due to the dispute.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:
* So much for order? Iowa is thinking of moving up its caucuses from Feb. 6th to some earlier date, now that Colorado has pushed its caucuses to Feb. 7th. Colorado’s caucus is non-binding, so technically it does not violate Republican National Committee rules about primary dates, but this Saturday is the deadline for states to schedule their caucuses or primaries. With any luck, this won’t get resolved and political reporters will get to spend Christmas and New Year’s in Des Moines.
* The tea party-backing group FreedomWorks is endorsing Nebraska state treasurer Don Stenberg over Attorney General Jon Bruning in the GOP primary to take on Sen. Ben Nelson (D). Max Pappas, Executive Director of FreedomWorks PAC, said in a statement that Nebraska activists preferred Stenberg, although Bruning is considered the frontrunner.
* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will stay at South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s house next week. The presidential candidate is in town for a screening of his documentary “A City Upon A Hill.” Bachmann has already stayed at the governor’s mansion twice. Haley has said she will accept all presidential hopefuls — including President Obama.
* Former Justice Department Public Affairs chief Matthew Miller has joined strategic consulting firm Vianovo. Before the DOJ, Miller worked on the Hill as communications director for the House Democratic Caucus and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
* Another win for Cain — the coveted Dennis Miller endorsement. The comedian announced his support on his radio show; he’s contributed to Cain’s campaign and is planning to headline a fundraiser for the candidate in Los Angeles.
THE FIX MIX:
Happy Jewish New Year, everyone.
With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake