New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who blasted members of his own party Wednesday for abandoning a $60 billion relief bill for superstorm Sandy victims, had a fruitful fundraising period, raising more than $2.1 million since he announced his re-election Nov. 26.
The campaign pulled in the cash in 36 days and without a single fundraising event. Mike Duhaime, the spokesman for the campaign, wouldn’t comment on specific breakdowns of the haul, but said it was “a lot of different people, both small donors and large all over the country,” including “all 21 counties in New Jersey.”
“The vast, vast majority came from within New Jersey, but there were [donors] from around the country,” Duhaime said. “We feel great about it, but it was pretty much organic. Some came from the Web, some from word of mouth.”
Duhaime added that the campaign sent out a small amount of direct mail to donors who gave to Christie during his 2009 campaign. It’s notable that the funds came in during the holiday season and when the state is still reeling from Sandy, which slammed into New Jersey Oct. 29.
The specific breakdown of the funds will be revealed when the next Federal Election Commission reports are filed Jan. 15.
By way of comparison, Christie’s entire 2009 campaign spent $12 million, although it’s important to note that he now enjoys the power of incumbency and a political machine in place since 2009.
This campaign has not only had no fundraisers but has only had one specific campaign event. Christie received the endorsement of the Laborers International Union of North America last month. The 20,000-member group backed Democrat Jon Corzine in the 2009 campaign.
Unlike other states, New Jersey does not keep an open account for the governor’s campaign, Duhaime says, so as soon as Christie officially “filled out the paperwork and announced I’m going to run, dozens of people wanted to help.”
As for Christie’s bashing Wednesday of House Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans for pulling a vote on Sandy funding at the last minute, Duhaime says money is “coming in every day at this point,” but there’s no break down since the governor described the House’s adjourning without voting on the relief package as “disappointing and disgusting.”
Christie, 50, who is considered a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, said there was “only one group to blame, the Republican Party and Speaker Boehner.”
Spokesman Duhaime said, “Good governing is good politics and yesterday you saw a display of what a great governor is. If that makes more people want him to stay governor that is a very good thing, but that’s just him doing his job.”
During the 2008 campaign, Christie was a fundraising machine for both GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican Party, traveling across the country to try to haul in cash for their effort. It’s something another Northeastern Republican, Rep. Pete King of New York, mentioned Wednesday in his own disgust about the lack of a vote on the bill.
“I’m just saying, these people have no problem finding New York – these Republicans – when they’re trying to raise money,” King said on CNN. “They raise millions of dollars in New York City and New Jersey, they send Gov. Christie around the country raising millions of dollars for them.
“I’m saying, anyone from New York and New Jersey who contributes one penny to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee should have their head examined. I would not give one penny to these people based on what they did to us last night.”
Only one Democrat has announced a challenge to Christie: State Sen. Barbara Buono, who has been in state government for 20 years. There had been speculation that Newark Mayor Cory Booker would jump into the race, but he announced a run for U.S. Senate instead.