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Chris Christie
Chris Christie (and wife), the GOP's last great hope. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a liberal, the GOP establishment is back to looking for that mythical magical creature that can both appeal to the teabagging crowd as well as DC and Wall Street Republicans. Sure, they'd love Mitt Romney, but know he is damaged goods in the Republican primary.

The name they've settled on, however, isn't exactly an improvement on Perry. Sure, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie yelled at that union member that one time, but his list of transgressions is longer than Perry's.

IMMIGRATION

If they think Perry doesn't hate brown people enough, wait until they take a gander at Christie:

"Being in this country without proper documentation is not a crime," Christie told more than 60 residents and town officials. "The whole phrase of 'illegal immigrant' connotes that the person, by just being here, is committing a crime." [...]

The U.S. attorney said he supports more secure U.S. borders -- "first and foremost from the terrorism perspective" -- but added that "certain leaders around the state that have demagogued on this issue" are "ill-informed."

Christie hasn't backed down:

"What I support is making sure that the federal government [plays] each and every one of its roles: Securing the border, enforcing immigration laws, and having an orderly process -- whatever that process is -- for people to gain citizenship."

He added: "It's a very easy issue to demagogue and I'm just not going to participate in that."

Perry's transgressions was supporting in-state tuition for the (innocent) children of undocumented immigrants. Christie wants to make them all legal Americans.

GUN CONTROL

If there's a third-rail of GOP politics, this is it. And Christie is on the wrong side of the issue. Here is a campaign flier from his 1995 run for state assembly:

pro assault-rifle-ban flier
And no, he hasn't "evolved" his position since then. Here he is recently talking to Sean Hannity:
CHRISTIE: Listen, I favor some of the gun-control measures we have in New Jersey.

HANNITY: Bad idea.

CHRISTIE: Listen, we have a densely-populated state, and there's a big hand gun problem in New Jersey. Now, I don't support all the things that the governor supports by a long stretch. But I think on guns — certain gun control issues, looking at it from a law-enforcement perspective, seeing how many police officers were killed, we have an illegal gun problem in New Jersey.

HANNITY: Should every — should every citizen in the state be allowed to get a licensed weapon if they want one?

CHRISTIE: In New Jersey, that's not going to happen, Sean.

You know what else isn't going to happen? The GOP primary electorate giving him a pass on the issue.

CLIMATE CHANGE

This is pretty dastardly. Get this: he believes the scientists!

In vetoing a bill (S2946) that would have required New Jersey to stay in a regional program intended to curb greenhouse gases — a program Christie plans to leave by the end of the year — the governor said "climate change is real."

He added that "human activity plays a role in these changes" and that climate change is "impacting our state."

Christie may not want his coastal state underwater because of melting polar ice caps, but that won't earn him a pass in the GOP primary.

ANTI-MUSLIM BIGOTRY

Guess what he called the GOP primary electorate? "Crazies".

“Ignorance is behind the criticism of Sohail Mohammed,” he told a reporter asking about the complaints that he may be inadequate to be a judge because he defended Muslim Americans who were wrongly arrested post-9/11. “He is an extraordinary American who is an outstanding lawyer and played an integral role in the post-September 11th period in building bridges between the Muslim American community in this state and law enforcement,” Gov. Christie argued, adding that he was “disgusted, candidly, by some of the questions he was asked… at the Senate judiciary committee.”

But it was a follow-up question on the fear of Sharia Law that set the governor off. “Sharia Law has nothing to do with this at all, it’s crazy!” he cried. “The guy is an American citizen!” He concluded that the “Sharia Law business is just crap… and I’m tried of dealing with the crazies,” adding with disgust and frustration that “it’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background.”

The anti-Sharia law nutjobs online go nuts over this one. Just nuts! If Christie runs for governor, expect Sohail Mohammed's name to feature prominently in the primary. Then there's the Ground Zero mosque (which was neither a mosque, nor at Ground Zero), which Christie refused to condemn.

Christie said he agrees that some degree of "deference" must be paid to victims' relatives, but added, "But it would be wrong to so overreact to that, that we paint Islam with a brush of radical Muslim extremists that just want to kill Americans because we are Americans. But beyond that ... I am not going to get into it, because I would be guilty of candidly what I think some Republicans are guilty of, and the president is now, the president is guilty of, of playing politics with this issue, and I simply am not going to do it."

So anti-Muslim bigots are "crazies" and "overreacting". True. We knew that. But that's not the sort of candor and truth that wins you brownie points in their primary.

HEALTH CARE

Did you know that Christie has refused to order his attorney general to join the some-28 other states in suing the federal government to try and stop Obama's health care law? Conservative activists sure as heck know, and they're not happy about it.

SUMMARY

So let's see -- he supports amnesty, while immigration opponents are "ill-informed" "demagogues". Anti-Muslim bigots are "crazies" who "over-react". That's the GOP base, by the way: ill-informed, over-reacting crazies. His words, not mine. He supports gun control, believes in climate change science, and hasn't joined the legal crusade against Obama's health care law.

So how is this guy supposed to get past the GOP primary electorate?

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