STATE — Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli says Gov. Chris Christie should step down from his new role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association because he is dealing with a mayor’s claims that his administration held millions of dollars in Hurricane Sandy recovery funds hostage to approval of a Hoboken development and widening investigations of the George Washington Bridge shutdown.
“I think just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races, it makes sense for him to step aside in that role,” he said on CNN’s “Crossfire” on Tuesday.
“He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman. And that doesn’t mean that any of the charges, political or otherwise are substantive or not. It doesn’t matter. Perception is reality.”
Cuccinelli, a New Jersey native who was born in Edison, said investigations into misconduct by Christie’s top political appointees could hinder his ability to successfully campaign for Republican candidates in the 36 gubernatorial races scheduled in 2014.
Cuccinelli, the 2013 GOP gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, has been called Christie’s polar opposite in persona, policy, and political reality.
Cuccinelli and his aides were furious that the RGA but stopped running television ads weeks before the election after the group spent about $8 million in Virginia because they thought was an unwinnable race, and instead pumped $1.7 million into Christie’s New Jersey landslide.
The conservative Cuccinelli came up just a few points short in the election framed as a referendum on Obamacare, losing 47.8% to 45.2% to Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
Crossfire co-host Van Jones asked Cuccinelli why Christie hasn’t stepped down, and the former Virginia attorney general predicted that the embattled New Jersey governor should expect other Republicans to urge him to quit the national post as the scandals continue to sink in.
“Frankly, I think this is still relatively new and he may well step down,” Cuccinelli said. “I have no idea what his thinking is on that and he may get some counsel from some other governors along those lines.”
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