- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ken Cuccinelli, former attorney general of Virginia and ex-gubernatorial candidate, said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ought to step down from his leading role with the Republican Governors Association, given his blossoming scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

The scandal — in which aides to Mr. Christie are alleged to have taken political revenge on the Fort Lee mayor and purposely snarled traffic — has driven down the governor’s poll numbers. Mr. Christie said he didn’t know anything about the plot to punish the mayor, who didn’t support his re-election campaign. But he’s since fired one aide, apologized and received notification of several inquiries that have launched by lawmakers from both parties.

Mr. Cuccinelli, who just lost his run for governor to Democratic Terry McAuliffe, said all the political fury has left Mr. Christie unable to properly represent other governors via his RGA role.

“I just think from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races, it makes [sense] for him to step aside in that role,” Mr. Cuccinelli said, The Hill reported. “He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman. And that doesn’t mean any of the charges political or otherwise are substantive or not. It doesn’t matter — perception is reality.”

He made the comments during an interview on CNN and added that he thought there was a good chance Mr. Christie might actually do just that.

“Well frankly, I think this is still relatively new and he may well step down,” Mr. Cuccinelli said, Politico reported. “I have no idea what his thinking is on that. And he may get some counsel from some other governors along those lines.”

Mr. Cuccinelli is the most high-profile member of the Republican Party to call for Mr. Christie to step away from the RGA role.

Mike DuHaime, senior adviser for Mr. Christie, said the ex-attorney general’s comments are “disappointing, given the RGA was by far the largest single donor to his losing campaign, giving more than $8 million — a significant portion of which was raised by Gov. Christie,” The Associated Press reported. Mr. DuHaime also said Mr. Christie has “received strong, positive feedback from his fellow governors and RGA donors alike and will remain RGA chairman.”

The role is seen as a major political position for Mr. Christie and a big boost to any White House run he might make in 2016.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide