Entries in Governor (47)


Christie Hauls In More Than $2 Million Since Announcing Re-Election Effort

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages(TRENTON, N.J.) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who blasted members of his own party Wednesday for abandoning a $60 billion relief bill for superstorm Sandy victims, had a fruitful fundraising period, raising more than $2.1 million since he announced his re-election effort Nov. 26.

The campaign pulled in the cash in 36 days and without a single fundraising event. Mike Duhaime, the spokesman for the campaign, wouldn’t comment on specific breakdowns of the haul, but said it was “a lot of different people, both small donors and large all over the country,” including “all 21 counties in New Jersey.”

“The vast, vast majority came from within New Jersey, but there were [donors] from around the country,” Duhaime said. “We feel great about it, but it was pretty much organic. Some came from the Web, some from word of mouth.”

Duhaime added that the campaign sent out a small amount of direct mail to donors who gave to Christie during his 2009 campaign. It’s notable that the funds came in during the holiday season and when the state is still reeling from Sandy, which slammed into New Jersey Oct. 29.

The specific breakdown of the funds will be revealed when the next Federal Election Commission reports are filed Jan. 15.

By way of comparison, Christie’s entire 2009 campaign spent $12 million, although it’s important to note that he now enjoys the power of incumbency and a political machine in place since 2009.

This campaign has not only had no fundraisers but has only had one specific campaign event. Christie received the endorsement of the Laborers International Union of North America last month. The 20,000-member group backed Democrat Jon Corzine in the 2009 campaign.

Unlike other states, New Jersey does not keep an open account for the governor’s campaign, Duhaime says, so as soon as Christie officially “filled out the paperwork and announced 'I’m going to run,' dozens of people wanted to help.”

As for Christie’s bashing Wednesday of House Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans for pulling a vote on Sandy funding at the last minute, Duhaime says money is “coming in every day at this point,” but there’s no breakdown since the governor described the House’s adjourning without voting on the relief package as “disappointing and disgusting.”

Christie, 50, who is considered a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, said there was “only one group to blame, the Republican Party and Speaker Boehner.”

Spokesman Duhaime said, “Good governing is good politics and yesterday you saw a display of what a great governor is. If that makes more people want him to stay governor that is a very good thing, but that’s just him doing his job.”

During the 2008 campaign, Christie was a fundraising machine for both GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican Party, traveling across the country to try to haul in cash for their effort. It’s something another Northeastern Republican, Rep. Peter King of New York, mentioned Wednesday in his own disgust about the lack of a vote on the bill.

“I’m just saying, these people have no problem finding New York – these Republicans – when they’re trying to raise money,” King said on CNN.  “They raise millions of dollars in New York City and New Jersey, they send Gov. Christie around the country raising millions of dollars for them.

“I’m saying, anyone from New York and New Jersey who contributes one penny to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee should have their head examined. I would not give one penny to these people based on what they did to us last night.”

Only one Democrat has announced a challenge to Christie: State Sen. Barbara Buono, who has been in state government for 20 years. There had been speculation that Newark Mayor Cory Booker would jump into the race, but he announced a run for U.S. Senate instead.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Christie Won’t Touch Twinkie Question, But Posts It Online

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- News that Twinkies maker Hostess would liquidate over a labor dispute took charge of the Internet Friday. The nuclear-resistant treats might not be helping America’s collective waist line, but they’re a nostalgic treat for some.

But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wanted nothing to do with a question thrown to him at a press conference about the potential Twinkies demise. “It’s bad enough that you got me to say Twinkie behind this podium,” he joked.

“You know, I’m on Saturday Night Live enough,” he said. But he clearly enjoyed being able to joke about Twinkies. His office posted video of his answer on the Youtube and it was tweeted from his official Twitter account.

Watch the entire response here:

Christie sensed a setup in the question. Twinkies are notoriously unhealthy. His weight has been the subject of much discussion since he took office. He told Jake Tapper this year on losing weight, “If it were easy, I’d already have it fixed." Watch that interview HERE.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Florida Gov. Scott Accidentally Cites Phone-Sex Hotline in Meeting

Office of the Governor, Florida(TAMPA, Fla.) -- An honest mistake led to a racy recording after Florida Gov. Rick Scott misread the toll-free number for his state’s Health Department during a cabinet meeting Tuesday, rattling off the digits for a phone-sex hotline instead.

Scott was giving an update on the fungal meningitis outbreak spreading to Florida this week when he mixed up the last four digits of the phone number that the state has set up for constituents to call with information about the deadly outbreak. State officials confirmed this week that the outbreak had spread to Florida after a 70-year-old man was killed by steroid medication contaminated by the fungus.

“You can call the Department of Health’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline set up for this,” Scott said Tuesday before citing an 866 number that, according to Tampa radio station WUSF, connects to an adult-entertainment recording.

“Hello boys, thank you for calling me on my anniversary,” a recorded female voice says on the phone-sex hotline.

The governor’s spokeswoman, Jackie Schutz, said Scott “inadvertently gave the wrong number,” but corrected himself and cited the correct hotline number later in the cabinet meeting.

The number for the Florida Health Department’s meningitis hotline is (866) 523-7339.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NC Governor: Americans Don’t Blame Obama for Partisan Gridlock

ABC News(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue says the American people don’t blame President Obama for last summer’s struggle to pass a deficit reduction package.

Speaking to Rick Klein, Amy Walter and Yahoo!’s Olivier Knox at the Democratic National Convention Thursday, the Democratic governor said it was the partisan politics of other elected officials across the country, unwilling to reach across the aisle, that prevented Obama from doing more during his first four years in office.

“You can’t get to the solutions that is [sic] demanded by America without having people who are willing to compromise,” Perdue said. “That’s what makes politics work. That is not the president’s fault.”

Perdue, who said in January she would not run for re-election as governor of the Tar Heel State, blamed Tea Party politicians for Congress’ struggle with the debt ceiling negotiations.

She had high hopes for North Carolina, saying Obama could carry the state.

“I believe this president will be able to take it to the people once he’s re-elected he can go out there state by state, and say, ‘Shame on you all for not working for the benefit of America,’” Perdue said. “And I believe Americans are looking for the kind of leaders who are hopeful.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Christie Gets Into Another Shouting Match

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J.) -- One week, two shouting matches, one governor of New Jersey.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got into another verbal battle Thursday night, but this time with a constituent instead of a reporter.

In a video posted by TMZ, Christie is on the boardwalk of Seaside Heights, N.J., holding an ice cream cone and yelling, “You’re a real big shot, you’re a real big shot shooting your mouth off.”

The video doesn’t show how the exchange begins, but the man replies, “Just take care of the teachers.”

Christie, who appears on many veepstakes contender lists, replies, “Keep walkin’ away, really good, keep walkin.’”

A man then comes up to the governor and leads him away with his hand on his back while supporters yell, “We’ve got your back, Governor!” As he was being led away, he stops to have his photo taken.

The governor has had a tense relationship with the teacher’s union in his state, going so far as to describe union leaders as “political thugs” in an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer last year.

Just last Saturday, Christie sparred with a reporter at a press conference, calling him “stupid” and an “idiot” because he asked about the state legislature as opposed to a water emergency, the topic of the news conference.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Camp Mounts New Assault on Romney’s Record as Governor

Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama campaign is opening a new front in its war against GOP rival Mitt Romney, ABC News has learned, with planned attacks to begin this week on Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts.

Team Obama will point to Romney’s campaign promises namely his rhetoric on job creation, size of government, education, deficits and taxes during the 2002 gubernatorial campaign and draw parallels with his presidential stump speeches of 2012.  The goal is to illustrate that Romney has made the same promises before with unimpressive results, officials say.

The approach is a part of an effort to keep the focus off of President Obama, who has an underwater approval rating and has struggled to bring down unemployment -- currently above 8 percent nationally.  He and his campaign are aggressively trying to make Romney an unacceptable alternative on the November ballot.

Obama campaign officials say the latest line of attack will be a major focus from now through the election.

A 14-page research document compiled by the campaign and obtained by ABC News reveals the breadth of material Democrats plan to deploy, listing dozens of examples of Romney rhetoric and corresponding video clips from 2002, 2012, and the comparative “results in Massachusetts.”

On jobs, for example, Romney pitched himself in 2002 as a conservative businessman who could right the economic ship after the tech bubble burst led to layoffs across the Bay State.  During a Boston debate, Romney said, “I have experience in the private sector building and creating thousands of good jobs, and I want to bring that skill for you here in Massachusetts” -- a theme he regularly reprises today.

But the Obama campaign notes, citing a report from the independent fact-checker Politifact, Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 states in job creation under Romney.  In manufacturing jobs, Democrats point out, Romney presided over a net loss of 40,000 jobs, a drop of 12 percent according to Labor Department data.

The president’s campaign will use a number of former Massachusetts state officials who served with Romney between 2003 and 2007 to make their case, attacking him for, among other things, vetoing a bill against outsourcing.  They also plan to release successive web videos to illustrate their points in what will be overall a national and state-level campaign.

The approach is a shifting of gears for Team Obama, which had spent the past few weeks hammering Romney for his business record at Bain Capital.  The attacks had come under fire from some Democrats as being possibly too negative, too soon, while Republicans decried what they called a double standard for Obama’s treatment of private equity executives.

Obama strategists say they are not abandoning the assault on Romney’s record at Bain, but broadening their case by turning to an array of issues the Republican dealt with during his time in political office.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nikki Haley in "Vogue": I’m a Governor, Not a Vice President

Office of the Governor(WASHINGTON) -- Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina posed for Vogue’s latest issue in what could be read as a profile-boosting bid as Mitt Romney chooses a running mate. Or maybe the Tea Party favorite simply couldn’t resist the treatment that had famously been given to political women before her, including Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

As a supporter of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Haley has campaigned for Romney and is seen by the establishment GOP as a surrogate who can whip conservative voters who might have been skeptical of the front-runner during the primary.

That role and the fact she’s a woman have led to speculation that Romney might want her on the ticket with him.

“People ask the question, ‘If you’re offered VP, would you take it?’” Haley told the magazine. “No, I won’t take it. I’m not going to leave the people that just gave me this chance.”

Despite her answer, the political class in Haley’s state seems to think she has bigger ambitions. Vogue reports that a South Carolina legislator who grew angry in a meeting with Haley asked her whether she would still be in her job long enough to see her agenda enacted, implying that she had her eyes on the vice presidency.

Haley, according to the magazine, told the lawmaker “that she is in South Carolina to stay.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


For Rick Perry, Signs Point to 2014 Gubernatorial Run

Allison Joyce/Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Will Rick Perry run for Texas governor in 2014 and continue his streak as the longest-serving current governor? All signs suggest a re-election bid, but a decision will come “at the appropriate time,” a Perry spokeswoman said Wednesday.

“The governor’s conservative policy development, job creation efforts and strong political organization point to another run for governor in 2014,” Catherine Frazier said in an email. “Any such announcement will be made publicly at the appropriate time.”

Paul Burka, an editor at Texas Monthly, wrote earlier Wednesday that Perry told donors at a fundraiser that he would run in 2014, sparking questions about whether he will pursue a bid for the governorship again.

Perry assumed the governorship Texas in 2000 when George W. Bush, then governor of Texas, was elected president. Perry has served as governor for 11 years.

Perry’s team has said in the past that the Texas governor has not ruled out a presidential bid in 2016.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


No IRS Investigation into South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Renee Ittner-McManus Office of the Governor(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- ABC News has learned that the Internal Revenue Service never conducted an investigation into South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s involvement in a Sikh temple’s finances. Nanette Downing, Director of EO Examinations, stated in the letter, “…we did not conduct an examination for the above period (tax year ended 2009)."

Eric Hill, a program manager at the IRS, said in a separate letter to Haley’s chief of staff Tim Pearson that “we determined an examination was not warranted at that time.”

Earlier this week, Logan Smith wrote for a little-known website, The Palmetto Public Record, that Haley, a Republican, faced a federal investigation of her finances and those of the Sikh Religious Society, with which her family has been associated:

“There has been a great deal of chatter lately regarding a federal investigation of the Sikh worship center run by Gov. Nikki Haley’s father, Dr. Ajit Randhawa. Speculation on the probe’s target has run anywhere from delinquent taxes to money laundering and tax fraud, with varying accounts of the governor’s own involvement in the temple’s shady finances.”

In an exclusive interview in Columbia, S.C. Friday afternoon, Haley adamantly denied the allegations.

“I was never an accountant for the temple,” Haley said. "I have nothing to do with the temple. My dad and the Indian community started the temple, not him. There is no truth. I never did a deposit. I never wrote a check. I never touched the books. I never had anything to do with it."

“The IRS letter they got -- from what I understand is a standard, just checking the tax-exempt status,” said Haley. “There is nothing, nothing, you can call any federal department of justice, everybody said there is nothing there. There is nothing there. What is sad in our country, what’s really sad in politics, is that a blogger can throw something out with no proof, no truth, no accuracy, total lies and that the media picks it up. It’s a very, very sad thing. There’s multiple stories of that in the book. But there’s multiple stories that continue to happen. And I will tell you every time this happens, I will call them out on it. How sad is that? That someone can go and make up everything you just said and absolutely none of it, none of it be true. It’s a terrible thing.”

Asked again whether there was any truth to the allegations, Haley shot back, “No, none!  Absolute lies. I have never received any sort of letter, there is no investigation, there is nothing going on, it can all be verified by any agency you talk to. Absolutely not. What I can verify is these are the things I and Sarah Palin talked about -- it will never stop. It will never stop. Because the more I do, the more attacks there will be. I’m okay with that because all it does is keep me kicking. ”

Governor Haley is no stranger to controversy.  In her race for governor in 2009, she battled against two claims that she had been unfaithful to her husband. Those allegations were also never proven to be true.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gov. McDonnell’s ‘Virginia Is for Lovers’ Gift to Obama

Kris Connor/Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) -- Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, a key Mitt Romney supporter, showed some Virginia love for the president, greeting Obama on the tarmac in Richmond Friday afternoon and giving him a “Virginia is for Lovers” golf glove.

“I thought that it would be an appropriate gift,” McDonnell, a potential Republican vice presidential nominee, told reporters after their brief meeting.

“He was very impressed that we knew he wore a left-handed glove,” the governor said, according to pool reports. “I told him we had done our opposition research.”

While their meeting was reportedly friendly, Republicans have done plenty of research on the president’s golf hobby.

Romney has slammed Obama in the past for focusing too much on his game and not enough on the economy and his campaign has an entire website devoted to raising campaign cash off Obama’s love of golf.

“‘Fore’ More Years?” reads the homepage of, which urges supporters to “donate $18 to send President Obama on a permanent vacation.”

The site claims the president has played 1,656 holes of golf since coming into office.

McDonnell was also present at the president’s speech at the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe jet engine disc manufacturing facility in Prince George County, where Obama touted the economic recovery and promoted his agenda to boost manufacturing.

“We are tired of rhetoric, you know, tired of this thing where we need to get people back to work,” McDonnell told reporters after the president’s speech.

“Let’s do the policies that actually would repatriate businesses. Let’s cut the corporate income tax that’s now the highest in the world,” he said. “That’s why people aren’t going to put businesses in Virginia. That’s why they go off shore. Let’s do something about that. That would be a great start but I haven’t heard him talk about that.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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