Christie Says GOP Could Win In Obama States

WASHINGTON (AP) -

Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday said Republicans had positioned themselves to succeed in gubernatorial races in Democratic-leaning states carried by President Barack Obama, an effort that could burnish the New Jersey Republican’s potential 2016 presidential bid.

Christie said in an interview with Fox News that Republicans face a “daunting task” in defending 22 of 36 governor’s seats in November’s election but pointed to competitive campaigns in Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois and Connecticut as fresh evidence of offense heading into the campaign’s final week.

The head of the Republican Governors Association, Christie dismissed criticism his organization had not done enough to support embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, another potential 2016 GOP presidential contender.

“I am a complete Scott Walker supporter, always have been, and we’re going to work as hard as we can to make sure he’s re-elected, and I believe he will be re-elected,” Christie said. He said the RGA had spent $6 million on the race this year and he plans to campaign twice for Walker in Wisconsin during the final week.

Christie remains popular with establishment Republicans and has presented himself as an outside force who could attract voters in Republican and Democratic-leaning states alike who remain disillusioned with dysfunction in the nation’s capital. He has sought to repair his image amid the investigation of politically motivated lane closures near the George Washington Bridge last year.

In the interview, Christie reiterated that he had nothing to do with the bridge scandal and said he would make a decision on a presidential campaign in the beginning of 2015.