Christie’s former running mate invokes Nixon in Bridgegate commentary

Former Assemblyman Rick Merkt is the first of Governor Chris Christie’s former allies and fair weather friends to prematurely dance on Christie’s political grave.

Assembly candidates Chris Christie and Rick Merkt examine the ballot in 1995

Assembly candidates Chris Christie and Rick Merkt examine the ballot in 1995

Merkt, who was Christie’s running mate for Assembly in 1995 and ran a lack luster primary campaign against Christie in 2009, compares the governor to disgraced former President Richard Nixon in a interview with former MMM contributor Olivia Nuzzi for New York Magazine.

“You know, reading the reports about the GW bridge fiasco, I recalled how similar the governor’s conduct during the re-election campaign was to that of President Nixon during his victorious re-election campaign in 1972,” he said. …

… He had no need to engage in an abuse of power to win re-election, and, in fact, he won by a landslide. But Nixon just couldn’t help himself; he did it anyway; he eventually got caught, and it cost him his office and political career. One might surmise that it was the arrogance of power that did him in, but I suspect it was really his control-freak nature and deep vindictiveness fundamental to his nature. …

Remind you of anyone we know? I doubt the comparison will long be lost on New Jersey Democrats, who already smell blood in the water. …

…. Merkt says several people he spoke with in Trenton agree with the predictions that this will be the end of the governor’s 2016 presidential bid. “Given his vindictive nature, I always sensed that Christie would implode at some point, but I did not foresee it happening so soon or over such a petty matter,” said Merkt. “By the way, my recollection is that Nixon crushed McGovern by a 60 percent to 38 percent margin, a margin virtually identical to Christie’s victory over Buono.  Funny how history repeats itself.”

Politicos with Christie envy might as well get their names in print over the next week or so.  I think Christie will land on his feet and end up being an even more respected leader before the dust is settled on Bridgegate.

Before long Christie will be compared more to Truman than Nixon.  Watch for a “the buck stops here” Town Hall Meeting in Fort Lee before the end of the month.


Posted: January 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, Port Authority | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »