Watching the media talking about why Chris Christie has such a harsh tone toward Marco Rubio is actually quite funny. The role of Christie in the GOPe larger political scheme has ALWAYS been to use him as the junk yard dog.
It is, quite simply, his job.
Do you need to go back to Christies’ time as head of the Republican Governors Association and remind yourself when the DC based GOPe apparatus was furious at Scott Walker?… Walker was facing a recall, Christie was given instructions to let him hang, and the RGA sat by doing next to nothing. This was DC-based punishment for the Tea Party kicking out the chosen GOPe candidates. Destroying their internal adversaries is what the Old Guard does best.
Or, do you need to remind yourself of 2012 when Christie was given instructions by the Old Guard to go get that Gingrich guy who was becoming a risk to their next-in-line candidate, Mitt Romney?
C’mon, you can’t possibly forget the month long war Chris Christie waged against Newt Gingrich after Gingrich won the South Carolina 2012 primary.
Chris Christie is a tool of the DC establishment (GOPe) with a very specific purpose. His role is so predictable when we identified the 2014 back room conversations happening within the professional political class (prior to the rule changes) to get Jeb Bush nominated, we immediately said Christie would be entering the race as a defender of Jeb.
Why? Simple, this is always Christie’s role.
The Republican Old Guard will never allow anyone to easily jump the line and defy their next-in-line candidate Jeb Bush. Part of the GOPe strategy is always to surround their nominee with people to defend his pedigree.
In 2012 Chris Christie brutally attacked Gingrich on behalf of Romney, in 2016 Christie is attacking Rubio on behalf of Jeb Bush.
The role of Christie in New Hampshire is less about his own candidacy, and more about positioning the Old Guard to win the battle of Jeb -v- Marco. After New Hampshire, things might change, but before -and up to- the New Hampshire vote, the “establishment” candidate is not yet determined.
If Marco does not defeat Jeb by a sizable margin, the battle continues. If however, Marco can beat Jeb by a wide margin, the opposition within the GOPe will shrink rapidly, and inner-party signals to support him will be dispatched in the 11 days prior to South Carolina.
The conversations are all closed door, but South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will be the visible representation of the determination.