New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has launched a Political Action Committee, an expected move as he prepares the way for a 2016 presidential campaign.
The AP reports:
Christie, who has been pitching himself to donors as a candidate who can expand the Republican Party's tent by appealing to minority, women and independent voters, also appears to be forging a populist message, adding that, "We must support candidates who share our vision, people who know that only through strong, bold leadership will we be able to take on these challenges and act on the promise of a better tomorrow for working and middle-class Americans."
Former Republican National Committee Finance chairman Ray Washburne, who announced earlier this month he would step down to take a position with Christie, will hold the same role for the new group. Former Republican Governors Association executive director Phil Cox and longtime Christie strategist Mike DuHaime will serve as political advisers. Matt Mowers, the outgoing New Hampshire GOP executive director, and Phil Valenziano, a former aide to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, will be the PAC’s on-the-ground presence in those two presidential early states.
Christie spoke over the weekend at the Iowa Freedom Summit hosted by Rep. Steve King which attracted several far-right conservatives interested in testing the water for a 2016 run at the presidency. These included Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and word salad masterchef Sarah Palin.
Upon introducing Christie, King trumpeted him as "pro-life" and praised him for vetoing the gay marriage bill in New Jersey. Christie was heckled at the beginning of his speech on immigration by Cesar Vargas of the DREAM coalition.
Watch the heckling and the speech, AFTER THE JUMP...