Chris Christie swears he is not thinking about running for president in 2012. Even his brother insists the New Jersey Governor is not running.
But that hasn’t stopped a small but powerful group of Republicans from trying to persuade Christie that now is the time for him to jump in the race.
The Draft Christie movement, which took hold this summer, has renewed its vigor amid mounting questions about Rick Perry’s viability as a candidate. Republicans are now looking for a fiscally conservative alternative to the rabble-rousing Texas Governor, and Christie is their man.
In an article for today’s New York Times, campaign finance reporter Nick Confessore takes a look at the charter members of the Christie Fan Club, an influential clique of powerful Northeasterners, including:
- Ken Langone, the billionaire founder of Home Depot. Langone who backed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2008, is Christie’s biggest backer, according to Confessore.
- Paul Singer, hedge fund magnate and chairman of the Manhattan Institute. Singer is a big Republican activist and one of the most highly sought GOP donors.
- Charles and David Koch, industrialists and the fourth and fifth richest men in America, according to Forbes. The Koch brothers are reportedly the founders and primary funders of Americans for Prosperity, one of the largest Tea Party umbrella groups. David Koch is also the richest man in New York.
- Charles Schwab, personal investment mogul and the 67th richest person in the U.S., according to Forbes.
- Stanley Druckenmiller, billionaire financier.
- David Tepper, billionaire hedge fund manager and founder of Appaloosa management.
- Daniel Loeb, hedge fund manager and one-time Obama supporter.
We imagine this would be a tough group to say no to. Christie’s schedule — he’s on a three-state fundraising swing that includes a stop at the Reagan Library — indicates that maybe he hasn’t said no quite yet.
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