Republican Chris Christie says a video of one of his campaign appearances that’s been viewed more than eight million times on the internet “is forcing everybody to take a new look” at his presidential campaign.
The video shows Christie talking about a college friend’s addition to prescription painkillers which ultimately led to the man’s death. Christie is an advocate of treatment rather than prison time for non-violent drug offenders. He told a crowd in Johnston this afternoon that a leader’s job “is not to follow polls, but to change polls.”
“I’ve had the bright lights on me for six years and I can guarantee you this much: I’m not going to melt,” Christie said. “So we need to work hard to make sure those bright lights are on us and when we do then we’re going to make sure that we win this thing and I’ll tell you this: when we do well in Iowa, get ready. Make your reservations for Cleveland in July, because I’m going to be the nominee.”
Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican National Convention. Christie opened a campaign office in Johnston this afternoon and spoke to a small group of supporters crammed around the reception desk.
“I feel this race turning in our direction now, especially in the last three weeks,” Christie said. “I think you can feel it, too.”
Christie appeared in the so-called “undercard” debate this past week because his standing in national polls wasn’t high enough to put him on the prime-time stage with the top eight GOP candidates. Christie told reporters he’s not interested in discussing the format and the rules for future debates — or who should ask the questions.
“Just put up a podium, put up a microphone and let me debate and I think you’ve now seen for four times when that happens, the next day people are writing about me, so I don’t really care about any of that stuff,” Christie said. “Everybody else gets caught up in the detail of this stuff. I think anybody who argues with the umpire usually doesn’t get elected.”
Christie is wrapping up a three-day campaign swing through Iowa tonight with an appearance at a Story County GOP fundraiser in Nevada.
Tomorrow, all three Democratic presidential candidates will be in Iowa for a nationally televised debate that will be broadcast on CBS. The event will be staged inside Sheslow Auditorium on the Drake University campus.