Chris Christie said he wants to win things, unlike certain other Republicans, at the Republican National Committee meeting in Boston on Thursday. "See I’m in this business to win… I’m in it to win. I think we have some folks who believe that our job is to be college professors," Christie said. This was interpreted to be a shot at Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a likely rival for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. "Now college professors are fine I guess. Being a college professor, they basically spout out ideas that nobody does anything about. For our ideas to matter we have to win. Because if we don’t win, we don’t govern. And if we don’t govern all we do is shout to the wind. And so I am going to do anything I need to do to win."
Christie first became nationally famous by being rude to people in town halls. (He still does it from time to time.) But Christie thinks you've got to pick and choose who you're rude to. "I'm not going to be one of these people who goes and calls our party stupid," Christie said on Thursday. This was interpreted to be a shot at Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who said the GOP needed to avoid being the "stupid party" after the 2012 election.
The New Jersey governor's speech was technically closed to the press, but the comments were obviously meant to get attention. Obviously, Christie is not unique among potential 2016 candidates in wanting to win. All of these people — Paul, Jindal, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker — want to win. That is how they got into elected office in the first place: by winning things. The real fight is over how Republicans can win. Christie thinks it's by being more moderate. Cruz thinks it's by being more conservative. The National Review's Robert Costa tweets, "Just like Cruz is filling a vacuum on right, Christie is doing the same on center-right. Romney donors/RNC types looking for new spokesman."
"It was impressive. I forgot about the Obama bear hug," said Tennessee GOP Chairman Chris Devaney told CNN's Peter Hamby in a self-contradictory statement. (The hug he almost forgot was the one Christie gave President Obama after Hurricane Sandy.) "The emphasis was on electability," Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri told Time's Zeke Miller. "And he made the case that he is electable, so I think you saw a foreshadowing of 2016."
Iowa GOP chair A.J. Spiker, who once backed Ron Paul — the father of the 2016er Christie is so publicly beefing with! — told Time that Christie's speech was "really great." And Spiker told Business Insider's Brett Logiurato that he expected Christie to travel to Iowa to help the reelection campaign of Gov. Terry Brandstad. "As far as him running in Iowa, Iowa's going to be wide open," Spiker said. "And I expect we'll see him a lot, possibly next year in Iowa."