- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2014

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence heaped praise on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, after a big night for the GOP and said he’s “sympathetic” to the views of people who want to see a governor as the Republican nominee for president in 2016.

Mr. Pence said the American people sent a message that they wanted to see a change of direction in Washington, D.C. — and more of what they see from Republican leaders in states.

“When you elect Republican governors in places like Maryland and Massachusetts, and our neighbor in Illinois, as well as we add Arkansas, and we re-elect Republican governors in places like Wisconsin and Florida and elsewhere — that’s a real affirmation of the kind of common-sense conservative leadership that Republican governors have been providing at the state level,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Politics.

Mr. Pence, a former congressman who won the governorship in 2012, could be in the mix in a wide-open 2016 GOP presidential field and said he’s “sympathetic” to the view among some that the party’s nominee in 2016 should be a governor.

He mentioned Mr. Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as leaders who have a lot to offer nationally, noting that Mr. Christie as chairman of the Republican Governors Association “worked his heart out” ahead of Tuesday’s big night.

Indeed, the GOP’s better-than-expected performances in governor’s races in places like deep-blue Massachusetts and Maryland might be a big boost in the short term for a case Mr. Christie could make ahead of 2016: Under his leadership of the RGA, he managed to help Republicans expand the map in areas where few had given them a chance.

Chris Christie is a conservative, and he’s my friend, and he’s been a strong leader in New Jersey, and bottom line: He provided great leadership and support for Republican governors [and] our candidates and the success speaks for itself,” Mr. Pence said.


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