Christie for President? New Jersey Says ‘Fuhgetaboutit!’

Christie for President? New Jersey Says ‘Fuhgetaboutit!’

By Eric Pianin

If Governor Chris Christie is looking for a boost to his flagging presidential ambitions, he’s probably not going to get it from the folks back home.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Monday shows that many New Jersey voters are turned off by Christie and his presidential ambitions, with 56 percent saying they disapprove of his job performance. More than half of those interviewed say that their shoot-from-the-hip Republican governor isn’t trustworthy and that he doesn’t care about their needs. Christie’s 38 percent approval rating is the lowest he has registered since becoming governor in January 2010.

Related: Christie’s Presidential Prospects on a Steady Slide

But it gets worse: 65 percent of Garden State voters say Christie would not make a good president (vs. 29 percent who think he would do a good job), and by similar margins voters say he shouldn’t run.

Meanwhile, more than a third of those interviewed said Christie should be removed from office if it is ultimately determined that he ordered or knew about the infamous closing of traffic lanes in Fort Lee, N.J., that led to massive traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge in early September 2013.

Recently, two reports, commissioned by the state legislature and Christie’s office, failed to turn up any evidence that Christie participated in the scheme – said to be political retaliation against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee – or knew about it as it happened. However, the U.S. attorney’s office is conducting a criminal investigation of the bridge scheme; there is no indication of when that will be concluded.

Related: Rubio Lashes Out at Clinton on Foreign Policy

The new telephone survey was conducted April 9 to 14 and involved 1,428 New Jersey voters. The findings have a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points.

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Chart of the Day: Long Way to Go on Coronavirus Testing

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By The Fiscal Times Staff

The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.

After Spending $2 Billion, Air Force Bails Out on Planned Upgrades of B-2 Bombers

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© Hyungwon Kang / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”

Big Hurdle for Sanders’ Plan to Cancel Student Debt

Chip East / REUTERS
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.  

The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”

Number of the Day: $7 Million

NY mayor cites climate stance in endorsing Obama
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”