FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will see the first test of his political standing when he comes to the Sunshine State this weekend to fundraise with Republican Governor Rick Scott.
Christie is scheduled to attend multiple fundraisers across the state including stops in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando. It will be Christie’s first major fundraising since the scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge erupted in New Jersey.
The role of Christie’s office and how much he may have known about the shutting down of lanes on the GW Bridge that created four days of traffic gridlock is still being determined. Documents and emails have cost several top Christie aides their jobs and the closure, which looks like political payback, is hurting Christie’s carefully cultivated image.
Christie has repeatedly said he can put politics aside and work across the aisle in a bipartisan manner. He did so with President Barack Obama after Superstorm Sandy tore through his home state. But, the traffic scandal undercuts that image as it appears his office was making a Democrat pay for not supporting his re-election.
Christie is seen as one of the top contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Governor Scott’s re-election campaign is quickly raising large amounts of money and he has pledged millions to help win. He may be one of the most vulnerable governors up for re-election and the Democrats will likely send former Governor Charlie Crist out as his opponent.
Depending on what happens with Christie, his appearance at fundraisers with Scott will either be political gold for Republicans or give plenty of political fodder for Democrats.
Speaking of Democrats, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman as the Democratic National Committee, is expected to tail Christie around the state and will attack both his and Scott’s records, according to Politico.