With Texas Gov. Rick Perry's frontrunner status suddenly in doubt, Republican insiders and donors are reportedly begging blunt-spoken New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to run for president. Christie, whose tough handling of the Garden State's budget and unions earned him conservative-darling status, has repeatedly dismissed calls to jump into the 2012 race. But with the pressure rising again, he's having "second thoughts," the New York Post reports. Is Christie the candidate the GOP is looking for?
The GOP needs Chris Christie: "I don't think he's getting in, but man would I love to be wrong," says John Sexton at Verum Serum. Christie's record suggests he could "turn this economy around." While he lacks Obama's magic and soaring rhetoric, he can reel off facts and figures with ease, sans teleprompter, and "frames issues in a way that's compelling and understandable to average voters." No doubt about it, Christie's "the man for the moment."
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Sorry, Christie is not the answer to the GOP's problems: The Christie "buzz is more symptom than it is remedy," says Rick Klein at ABC News. The conservative base is barely familiar with Christie — all it really knows is that it "isn't sold on its latest would-be savior, Rick Perry, whose debate performances have underwhelmed and disappointed." But Christie has no more experience on the national stage than Perry, and he'd get crushed by Mitt Romney in debates, too. Then what?
"Chris Christie buzz more symptom than remedy for GOP"
Popular or not, he can't win: Republicans love Christie's "outspoken demeanor and his willingness to take on the opposition," says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. But nobody can outline his path to victory. Despite his popularity, Christie "strays from conservative orthodoxy on several issues including climate change, Islam, and the Tea Party." It's hard to see how a candidate like that can "win over conservative voters in states like Iowa, or pretty much anywhere in the South."
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