WASHINGTON—The Democratic National Committee plans to highlight the bridge scandal consuming New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie when he hits Chicago Tuesday for a series of Republican Governors Association fundraisers and a lunch event at The Economic Club of Chicago.
The DNC is deploying former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to hold a Chicago press conference Tuesday where he will highlight the George Washington Bridge controversy as the embattled Christie is starting to travel across the country in his new role as RGA chair, where his main job is to raise money to elect Republican governors.
The Christie Chicago fundraisers are not open press, but his event at The Economic Club of Chicago is open to media coverage—and I’m told a crowd of press from New Jersey and Washington is expected.
Christie will take part in The Economics Club of Chicago “conversation” with Motorola Solutions CEO and Board Chairman Greg Brown 12:30 p.m. CT at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, 301 E. North Water St.
GOP governors elected Christie to the post to last November when he seemed to show powerhouse fundraising potential for the 2014 election cycle—with the payoff for Christie a year of national travel that could pave the way for a 2016 presidential bid.
Now the DNC is trying to make sure that the bridge scandal follows Christie as he steps up his national RGA travel. In the political business it’s called “bracketing,” that is piggybacking on an already scheduled event to hound the New Jersey governor. The DNC has been working with the Democratic Governors Association to target Christie.
On a recent Christie Florida RGA fundraising swing, DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz D-Fl. held press conferences on Christie in Florida and last Thursday Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa smashed Christie in Dallas.
The bridge scandal for now has shelved all talk of Christie making a White House run with ongoing probes addressing the question of what Christie knew when about lane closures on the bridge spanning New Jersey and New York.
So far, Republicans have been restrained when asked if Christie should step down as RGA chair “Yes, I don’t think he should step down,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a former RGA chair, told CNN’s “State of the Union” host Candy Crowley on Sunday. “I think he should stay there.”