Christie: Republican Soul-Searching Natural After Two Losses in Row

Photograph by Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg

Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, speaks to reporters at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey, on Jan. 4, 2013.

Chris Christie, the plain-spoken Republican governor of New Jersey who called out House Speaker John Boehner last week after the House delayed a vote on $60 billion in Hurricane Sandy aid, says his party is a bit disgruntled after back-to-back losses in presidential elections.

Boehner, who was reelected speaker last week, put off the Sandy vote after saying “it wasn’t the right time” following his party’s fractious passage of legislation to avert $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases dubbed the “fiscal cliff.”

Christie, saying “palace intrigue” was behind the delay, contends that Republicans are smarting from losses to President Barack Obama in 2008 and again in November. He’s so far refused to single out the Tea Party members of Congress, or specify the exact nature of the infighting.

“These are the type of arguments and soul searching that every party goes through when they have two consecutive national elections that they lose,” Christie said Jan. 4 during a 35-minute interview in his Trenton office. “Politics is about winning and losing. When you’re losing, you’re unhappy. And when you’re winning, you’re thrilled. I think we’ve lost two in a row, and when you’ve lost two in a row everyone is looking to figure out why, first and foremost, and how to fix it.”

He said “less-productive members of the party are going to look at who to blame” for the defeats.

Christie fielded criticism from some Republicans for praising Obama’s post-storm performance after Sandy left 2.7 million without power in New Jersey, crippled mass-transit and ripped up miles of ocean-side boardwalks. That praise came a week before Obama beat Republican Mitt Romney, fpr whom Christie had spent a year campaigning and served as keynote speaker at the party’s convention.

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