Govs. Christie, O'Malley Take Their Bare-Knuckle Brawls to Tampa

If there’s anything that could draw more viewers than tonight’s Chris Christie speech at the Republican National Convention, it would be a primetime televised smackdown between the New Jersey governor and his Maryland counterpart.


Martin O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, told reporters at a press conference in Tampa this morning that he predicted Christie’s speech tonight would be an “angry, Don Rickles keynote extolling the virtues of their candidate, Mitt Romney, who had one of the worst job creation rates in the nation.”

The Maryland Democrat is serving as President Obama’s surrogate in the campaign’s “rapid-response war room.”

O’Malley also bashed Christie as “a governor who has the fourth-worst unemployment rate of any state in the nation,” and called House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) “a real leader in the tea party Republican House in doing everything they can to slow our economy and our jobs recovery.”

In February, Christie called O’Malley “not that smart, he’s not that good, but he is flippant, so I give him credit for that.”


O’Malley has made the comedian comparison before.

“Chris Christie’s brand of sort-of Don Rickles leadership is unusual,” O’Malley said. “The bombast and all of that stuff is entertaining, but it doesn’t make for good governance.”

Last year on ABC, O’Malley called Christie “mean-spirited.”

Christie has called O’Malley’s style “kissing up to every special interest you want to have on your side to get electoral success.”


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