On Nov. 3, Mr. Christie called Rupert Murdoch, the influential News Corporation chief and would-be kingmaker, who had warned in a biting post on Twitter that the governor might be responsible for Mr. Obama’s re-election.Given what had just happened to his state, you might think Republicans would have cut Christie a little bit of slack—and that Christie would have had better things to do than trying to respond—but if so, you'd be wrong.
Mr. Christie told Mr. Murdoch that amid the devastation, New Jersey needed friends, no matter their political party, according to people briefed on the discussion. But Mr. Murdoch was blunt: Mr. Christie risked looking like a spoiler unless he publicly affirmed his support for Mitt Romney, something the governor did the next day.
But in the days after the storm, Mr. Christie and his advisers were startled to hear from out-of-state donors to Mr. Romney, who had little interest in the hurricane and viewed him solely as a campaign surrogate, demanding to know why he had stood so close to the president on a tarmac. One of them questioned why he had boarded Mr. Obama’s helicopter, according to people briefed on the conversations.They wanted to know why Christie got on Marine One? Seriously? What do they think he should have done? Taken a golf cart? Spit on the president? Refused support from FEMA? What the hell is wrong with these people? Do they have no sense of empathy or decency? Apparently not:
His willingness to work closely with the president has cast a shadow over Mr. Christie’s prospects as a national candidate, prompting a number of Republicans to wonder aloud whether he is a reliable party leader.We've grown numb to Republican dysfunction, but that attitude (echoed by Romney donors who a campaign aide described as "furious") encapsulates just how severely the Republican Party has lost its way. It's not just that so many of them are heartless jerks who would have rather seen Christie screw over the people of his state than work with President Obama, it's that they political idiots who aren't smart enough to realize Christie would have been a guaranteed 2013 loser if he'd done what they wanted—and Mitt Romney still would have lost anyway. But don't try telling that to Republicans. They're still trying to figure out how President Obama managed to unskew the election.
“It hurt him a lot,” said Douglas E. Gross, a longtime Republican operative in Iowa who has overseen several presidential campaigns in the state. “The presumption is that Republicans can’t count on him.”
Republican voters in Iowa, the first state to select presidential candidates, “don’t forget things like this,” Mr. Gross said.