The great fund raising and endorsement weekend featuring Florida Gov. Rick Scott and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was a bust. Not once during the entire weekend was there a major photo op, joint press conference or an endorsement.
It was just two men meeting with billionaires and attempting to convince them that putting their money behind their respective campaign’s was a wise investment. For Florida Gov. Scott it was a chance to get much needed cash for his 2014 re-election campaign, while for Gov. Christie he was hoping to convince them that he would be a great investment for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination.
A few months ago, Gov. Scott was looking forward to having New Jersey Gov. Christie visit Florida for a combination fund raising and endorsement swing around the Sunshine State. Heck he might have even boosted his poll numbers.
Now the hope is that they were able to put some money in the bank for their re-election campaign this year against Democratic candidate Charlie Crist.
But the cold reality is that Gov.Christie’s visit to Florida this past weekend really did very little to help Gov. Scott and will likely be forgotten in a week or two.
Gov.Scott was at a disadvantage because his travel partner Gov. Christie didn’t want to talk about his own escalating problems in New Jersey which could derail any presidential ambitions. So no meeting’s that involved the press.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, seized the opportunity Saturday to bash Republican Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Rick Scott of Florida.
Appearing at a news conference at the Dania Beach tri-rail commuter rail station, Wasserman Schultz and other Democrats used the weekend visit to Florida by the Jersey governor to criticize him and Scott, a beneficiary of Christie’s fundraising events.
With the Republicans keeping Christie and Scott under wraps, with no public events and nothing open to news coverage, Wasserman Schultz attracted a large media crowd: a couple of dozen reporters and TV camera operators.
She was focused in her attacks: “It’s great to be here to welcome Chris Christie to the Sunshine State. It’s not every day that we have a governor visit Florida whose scandals burn so brightly they outshine even those of our own scandal plagued governor, Rick Scott
“Governor Christie and Governor Scott really do have a lot in common. They both seem to have a loose definition of ethics and of knowing what’s right and what’s wrong. And they both know a thing or two about creating massive traffic problems for their constituents.”
That jab was aimed at Christie for the Bridgegate scandal, which involved four days of snarled traffic after Christie lieutenants ordered the closure of approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge, apparently to retaliate against a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse the Republican governor’s bid for re-election. And it was aimed at Scott’s decision, early in his term, to reject federal money to help build a high-speed rail line in Florida.
“Both governors have clearly decided to put politics ahead of what’s best for their constituents. Thanks to these two governors, both states are far too familiar with gridlock,” Wasserman Schultz said.
“It’s interesting that while Chris Christie is spending the entire weekend in Florida with Governor Scott, they won’t have a single public appearance. Either Chris Christie doesn’t want to face the press or Governor Scott doesn’t want to be seen publicly with Chris Christie, who is an embattled governor, and I think it’s probably a little bit of both,” she said.
In some way you had to feel that possible 2016 GOP presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Busch were loving the Christie bashing.
The quotes used in this story came from the Associated Press.