New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, making last-minute stumps in Iowa this morning, protested that people need to stop referring to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as a Washington outsider candidate.
In fact, Christie told Good Morning America that he’s “a little offended” by the term being applied to Cruz.
“He went to Princeton, Harvard, he clerked at the United States Supreme Court, worked for the federal government and then had a government job in Texas,” the governor said. “Hardly seems to me to be an outsider so let’s stop with calling Ted Cruz an outsider.”
Christie is polling at 3 percent in Iowa, but said he’ll be happy coming out of Iowa “as the number one governor” among the GOP field.
“Polls show that I will be the number one governor if results come the way they are. I think we’ll overperform what the poll’s done, but when you look at how much Jeb Bush has spent in this state, how much time and money he’s spent that we’re polling ahead of him in the last day is a good sign for our campaign and an even better sign as we move to New Hampshire,” he said.
With so many people in the race, Christie reasoned, the old adage that there are three tickets out of Iowa may be too limited.
“There have never been this many candidates that have gotten to the starting line. So if there are three tickets when there’s seven people, there has got to be more tickets when there is twelve,” he said. “…I think Iowa and New Hampshire will be seen as kind of an exacta. They’ll be read together this time and that’s what will help to cull the field down to probably four or five by the time we leave New Hampshire next Tuesday.”
“…I’m going to be fascinated to see what happens tonight as I’m sure you are, and anybody who’s been in this business for any period of time will be fascinated to see what happens. So let’s wait and not draw conclusions based off polling, I remember back in 2004, everybody was getting ready to crown Howard Dean the next President of the United States and I don’t think that ever happened, either.”
Christie has been on the campaign trail with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who has advised Iowans against voting for Cruz based on his ethanol position.
“Not only did he help us, he helped all these other incumbent Republican governors that won in 2010 that were up for reelection,” Branstad told a crowd in West Des Moines at a Christie rally Sunday. “I mean, tough states like, Michigan and Wisconsin and South Carolina and Florida. But he not only helped us win those reelections by providing financial support and personally campaigning for those Republican candidates, he helped us pick up states that nobody thought we could win, like Illinois and Massachusetts and Maryland.”
Asked on MSNBC this morning if ethanol will hurt Cruz in the state, Christie replied, “Sure does, that’s what my friend Governor Branstad has told me and I believe him.”
Cruz told NBC on Sunday that his plan “to remove the blend wall” in the Renewable Fuel Standard would actually improve Iowa’s economy.
“You know who’s hurt by my plan? The lobbyists in Washington and the people who are helped are Iowa farmers and jobs here in the state of Iowa,” he said.