Christie huddles in D.C. with GOP senators
Gov. Christie visited the epicenter of political gridlock Wednesday, meeting with GOP senators at the Capitol. The stated purpose for Christie's visit was to participate in events marking the end of the short tenure of Jeffrey Chiesa, the Republican he appointed in June to the Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Democrat Frank Lautenberg.
Chiesa "introduced me to some of the new friends he's made over the last 41/2 months," Christie told reporters as he left the meeting.
Christie at first brushed off a question about the government shutdown, now in its second week. But, seldom shy about voicing his opinions, he bit when asked whether he thought the shutdown, combined with the threat of a default if the debt ceiling was not raised, would hurt the economy.
"He's got a great record in New Jersey," said Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.), who was at the meeting with Christie. If the governor runs for president, Thune said, "he'd be a very formidable candidate because he could point to a record of accomplishment."
Thune said the meeting covered mostly "New Jersey subjects," including local politics. Christie told the senators he thought next week's special election for the Senate between Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan "could be close," Thune said.
- Tribune Washington Bureau