After Rick Perry’s poor debate performance, and altogether awful week, some Republicans are once again looking for a candidate who can beat Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination.Ken Langone, the billionaire co-founder of The Home Depot, is once again recruiting big-ticket donors to press New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to enter the race, POLITICO reported — though the potential candidate has so far demurred.
Others behind the draft-Christie effort are Paul Singer, David Koch and Charles Schwab.
A Republican donor class concerned by Perry’s electability, and wary of his very conservative positions on the Fed, is no-so-quietly looking for someone else to back — as is the conservative intelligentsia that never could get behind Romney. In office for just two years, Christie has built a reputation as a no-nonsense, business-friendly governor — making him in many ways the perfect candidate to fill the void.
But while Christie would be helped by the backing of prominent deep-pocketed Republican, he would need to introduce himself to the GOP electorate — and earn their votes — in less than four months. He’s also never been tested as a national candidate, and its unclear how his combative temperament would translate to a 50-state campaign.
POLITICO’s Mike Allen quoted someone close to Christie as to why he won’t run:
“There are three reasons [Christie probably won’t take the bait.] One is: He genuinely believes that he’s not prepared on an issue and substance basis to address all of the things you have to address as a candidate, and he’s leery of learning on the fly. Two, the performance of Perry shows the dangers of late entry: It’s right in front of him. And while others use that as a reason for him to GET in, for him, it’s the opposite – it’s the reason that validates his decision NOT to get in this late. And the third is that … you sit and look at the map … and the path for Chris Christie [to get more delegates than Romney] is difficult to chart … If he gets in, the first thing he has to do is beat Perry and establish himself as the REAL anti-Romney. And the path to doing that is difficult: Perry’s not going to just drop out.”
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