The recent report by Newsmax.com that Chris Christie is reconsidering entering the GOP presidential primary should not be surprising. For months, political insiders have been urging the first term governor of New Jerseyto enter the race.
Despite repeated statements that he will not seek the nomination because he “is not ready” to be president, the governor has met with the two most influential Republican financial backers, David and Charles Koch, long-time behind the scene players and multibillionaires.
Over the years, the Kochs have donated tens of millions of dollars to several nonprofit organizations, including the Cato Institute, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity among others. Although generally considered defenders of free markets and limited government, the Kochs did not support Rep. Ron Paul, the most consistent advocate of a constitutional republic, in his 2008 presidential bid. The Kochs are not supporting Ron Paul’s presidential bid this time either.
There is a long history between Ron Paul, free market economists and the Kochs. Suffice it to say, Ron Paul is too committed to free markets and limited government for the brothers Koch, who have been accused of practicing “crony capitalism”—which the libertarian Republican congressman has fought tooth and nail throughout his political career.
The Kochs have used their money to fund organizations and individuals who are critical of the hypothesis that climate change is caused by human activity. As business owners, the Kochs have used their considerable financial resources to influence policies that may adversely affect their interests by overzealous government regulations.
One of the Koch’s targets has been the federal government’s “cap and trade” program that is supposed to reduce greenhouse gases by making a “market” in “pollution credits.” Americans for Prosperity has been leading the charge to get New Jerseyto pull out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which Governor Christie did a few months ago.
Steve Lonegan,New Jerseydirector of the Koch funded AFP, was a persistent critic of RGGI, and Christie’s main rival for the gubernatorial nomination in 2009. Lonegan applauded Christie’s decision.
According to news reports, Governor Christie met with David Koch in New York Cityand then spoke at the Koch’s confab in Vail. With the Koch’s apparently on the Christie for President bandwagon, will the New Jerseygovernor conclude he is ready to be president and enter the race in the next few days as Rick Perry’s star begins to fade rapidly? With Governor Christie off on a cross country fund raising trip, this could be the first step in his presidential bid.
And with loyal lieutenant Steve Lonegan in the Koch orbit waiting in the wings, has the deal been cut that if Christie enters the race, wins the GOP nomination and defeats President Obama, Lonegan will get the prize that he so desperately seeks, the GOP nomination for governor in 2013?