As head of the Republican Governors Association, Gov. Chris Christie is expected to be out of state fundraising quite a bit. But he did not expect the current dark storm clouds to follow him from New Jersey to Texas where he is on Thursday.
Fundraising for the RGA in Dallas and Fort Worth, the Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa will be shadowing him as Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz did at fundraisers in Florida last month. Not only that, the Dallas Morning News reports that both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and leading GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott won't be by Christie's side - a fact that Democrats are gleefully noting.
"Governors come to our state regularly for a variety of reasons and we're pleased to have them here," a spokeswoman for Gov. Perry told the Dallas Morning News. And as for Abbott, an aide told the newspaper, the candidate "will be in Houston as part of a statewide series of appearances on immigration."
During his visit to Florida last month, the state's GOP Gov. Rick Scott joined Christie at private fundraisers but did not appear with him publicly.
"A few weeks ago in Florida, Republican Governor Rick Scott refused to be seen in public with Christie. Today Texas Republican candidate for governor Greg Abbott won't even be seen in private with Christie," Democratic National Committee press secretary Michael Czin said in an e-mail message. "Things are going from bad to worse for Christie as more revelations surface in the Bridgegate scandal."
It's something Christie could not have imagined in November when he won a landslide re-election victory and seemed untouchable. But the investigations around the lane closures are grinding on and Democrats will be likely trailing Christie at his upcoming fundraising stops in Chicago, Massachusetts, Georgia, Connecticut, and Utah.
As The New York Times reports, Democrats are angling to cast Christie as "a toxic figure, whose name is synonymous with the ugliest elements of politics: partisan bullying and backslapping cronyism."
"If Republican governors want to keep embracing him as their chair, as their model for the future, we're happy to help them out,' Wasserman Schultz, a Democratic congresswoman from Florida, told The Times.
Nevertheless, Christie doesn't seem to be slowing down.
Next week he will speak to the Economic Club of Chicago, followed by more RGA events in the Windy City. He will also be in Washington, DC for the annual New Jersey Chamber of Commerce trip to the nation's capitol where he will address a group of New Jersey business and political insiders. Later this month, Christie will attend the National Republican Senatorial Committee's winter retreat in New York and then he'll be back in Washington for the National Governors Association's winter meeting.
And as Yahoo! News first reported earlier this week, Christie accepted an invitation to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, held in early March after being snubbed last year.