A senior political adviser to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie struck back at former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli Tuesday, after Cuccinelli called on Christie to step down as chairman of the Republican Governors Association in the wake of the George Washington Bridge scandal.
“I think just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races, it makes sense for him to step aside in that role,” Cuccinelli said on CNN’s Crossfire Tuesday. “He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman.”
Later that night, Christie strategist Michael DuHaime responded. “This is disappointing, given the RGA was by far the largest single donor to his losing campaign, giving more than $8 million — a significant portion of which was raised by Governor Christie,” Duhaime said.
Cuccinelli, who ran for Virginia governor last year, losing in a surprisingly close election, has long blamed establishment Republicans, including Christie for not doing enough to help his campaign. On election night, his top strategist, Chris LaCivita, complained to the Washington Post that Cuccinelli was without television cover because he was abandoned by establishment Republicans when he was down in the polls, a charge echoed by Tea Party groups. Cuccinelli aides also grumbled that Christie would not make an appearance in Virginia on his behalf while campaigning for his own re-election. Cuccinelli, who alienated some moderate Republican bigwigs with his conservative social positions, struggled raising money on his own in a state that allowed unlimited campaign contributions.
Over the weekend, Christie appeared at multiple closed-door fundraisers with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, but the pair worked hard to avoid cameras in the Sunshine State as Democrats attempted to use Christie as a political weapon. But Christie, who drew 200 donors to the home of billionaire Ken Langone, brought in the dough, transferring at least $2.5 million from the RGA to Scott’s campaign.