Do They Really 'Love' Chris Christie In Iowa?

"If people see him as a bully, they won't want him, but if they see him as a leader they will." Gross, the former chief of staff for Iowa Gov. Branstad, said. said.

Another position is that Christie could shine in the glad-handing, stump-heavy environment of Iowa primary politics.

"Our process and format was made for a talent like Chris Christie," former Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht said.

4. Is Christie too moderate to play in Iowa? (Should he even compete there?)

Activists and observers are divided on Christie's appeal in Iowa, where more tea party-oriented members of the GOP pack like Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker and Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., enjoy support.

"There's no clamor for Christie to get in with the grassroots," Kirkpatrick, the former Fayette County GOP chair, said.

Christie, who has been characterized as a centrist, would have to tap into the mainstream Republican vein of the state party, and excite moderate Republicans enough to spark caucus participation.

One maneuver in the northeastern Republican presidential playbook calls for staying out of Iowa, and spending time and resources campaigning in other early primary states like South Carolina and New Hampshire.

Unsurprisingly, the move, which was employed by both former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, is unpopular with Iowans, regardless of their feelings on Christie.

"Anyone who wants to run for president, a known or unknown, has to come to Iowa," Steve Scheffler of the Iowa Christian Alliance said.

5. Is Christie really ready for a presidential run?

While Christie has said that he plans to wait until 2015 to decide on a White House bid, the rest of the pack have wasted little time jockeying for position.

Paul, who recently hired top New Hampshire and Iowa strategists to his Rand PAC, has spent the past month clarifying his foreign policy views and launching broadsides at Texas Gov. Rick Perry on immigration. Christie, on the other hand, has repeatedly refused to weigh in on certain national political issues in the past week, and told CNBC Wednesday that doing so would be "immature."

"The fact is, if and when there's a time that comes that I need to be telling people in this country what my view is on those issues, I will," Christie said. "But until that time, I think it's quite frankly immature to be expressing a lot of those opinions."

But Christie can't have it both ways by coming to Iowa and sidestepping national policy questions, Kirkpatrick said.

"Regardless of whether someone has made up their mind or not, when you get asked about national issues, you should be prepared to answer them," he said. "Others answer questions when they come to the Hawkeye State. Why should Christie think he's above that?"

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