New Jersey governor Chris Christie, touting his endorsed candidate Mitt Romney at a town hall in New Hampshire last night, went after Jon Huntsman hard.
“I would be kind of pissed if I were Barack Obama — I mean, I give this guy a job, he’s over in China supposedly serving my administration,” said Christie, who appeared at a town hall with Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in Manchester on Jan. 8. “I wonder a little bit about Huntsman’s integrity.”
The Huntsman campaign responded with their own governor, former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge:
“Shame on Governor Christie for repeating Mitt Romney’s divisive line of attack on Governor Huntsman’s decision to put country before politics.
“The responsibility to represent our country in the most important diplomatic position of the 21st century should be applauded — not politicized.
“This type of divisive attack is exactly what the country is sick and tired of. We deserve better.
“Having served two different presidents as a soldier and a cabinet secretary, I understand firsthand the value of service to one’s country, and that is just one of the many reasons I am proud to support Governor Huntsman.”
Of course, the two criticisms are different. The first, from Romney, argues that no conservative in good standing can work in any capacity in the administration of Barack Obama, because of his liberal agenda in so many policy areas. The second, from Christie, scoffs at the idea that Huntsman didn’t think about running for president until he submitted his resignation (January 31, 2011). Huntsman officially resigned as ambassador on April 30; on May 3, he created a federal political action committee “that will allow him to travel and raise money in the weeks before he’s expected to formally announce a bid.”