After former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney indicated they might launch White House bids for 2016, the conventional wisdom seemed to be that this was bad news for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
In theory, Bush and Romney could box Christie out of the race for key Republican establishment donors who are eager to back a relatively moderate conservative. However, a close Christie ally recently explained to Business Insider why they’re not concerned about his ability to perform in this “donor primary.”
“If he decides to run, he will have enough money to do what he needs to do to win,” they said.
The ally acknowledged Bush, Christie, and Romney obviously can’t all emerge victorious. However, they argued all three potential candidates have enough support to raise the money they need to run in early primaries.
“Is there enough space for all three of them? No. Someone’s got to win. At the end of the day, there’s only one winner,” said the Christie ally. “Whether it’s Mitt, Christie, or Scott Walker for that matter, they’re all going to have a threshold of money to do what they need to do.”
And, once the primary is underway, the ally expressed certainty Christie could make headway that would help him build further support relative to his rivals. Specifically, they said they were confident Christie is better at in-person campaigning than any of his potential opponents.
“Let’s not forget that at the end of the day this is about candidates and their message. Christie is a superior communicator who operates well in the face of the media circus,” they said. “Voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are going to kick the tires and make a decision about who can win and best lead the country. Christie has the raw talent and experience and is as well-positioned as anyone.”
The Christie ally also pointed to his fundraising success as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association as evidence of his ability to win hearrs and wallets.
However, despite expressing confidence in Christie’s ability to perform in the 2016 field, the ally insisted the Garden State governor hasn’t made up his mind to run just yet.
“There’s going to be a donor primary for the first half of 2015. So, if Christie decides to get in, you’ve got to see how he performs early,” they said. “If the money isn’t there, he doesn’t have to hit the start button — but I fully expect the money will be there.”
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