New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fought to revive his presidential aspirations in northern New England on Wednesday, declaring he would not be silenced by scandal while campaigning alongside one of the nation’s most endangered Republican governors.
Christie said he shared Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s leadership style, despite regular criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike who accuse both tough-talking governors of being bullies.
“The one thing they can’t say about LePage and I is that we sound like everybody else — we don’t, because we tell the truth. We say what we think. We’re very direct,” Christie said while facing out-of-state reporters for the first time since Bridgegate erupted in January. “They’re not going to silence me, and they’re certainly not going to silence Gov. LePage. We’ll be who we are.”
Despite the show of confidence, both governors have struggled through a series of largely self-inflicted controversies that jeopardize their political futures.
LePage is facing a daunting re-election challenge. Since winning in 2010 with just over 38 percent of the vote, LePage has vetoed the most bills of any Maine governor. He’s withheld millions of dollars in voter-approved bonds until the Legislature passed bills he wanted and briefly barred his commissioners from testifying before lawmakers.
Christie was trying to move forward with his official duties as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association on Wednesday. He has made similar trips across the country in recent months.