One of the reasons Chris Christie worries me as a 2016 Republican presidential candidate is the fact that he seemed like the kind of guy who would be willing to tell the extremists in the Republican Party to go fuck themselves. He's totally a conservative—anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage, anti-union, the works—but he's not willing to say, for example, that government is evil in every instance. Or at least, he wasn't. I thought Christie would be able to speak honestly to far-right Republicans. But as ThinkProgress's Igor Volsky notes, Christie seems to be leaning more toward the Romney strategy of pushing to the right to win the right:
Fresh off his sweeping re-election victory and with rumors buzzing about a possible 2016 run for the White House, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wouldn’t call on lawmakers to include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in legislation to reform the nation’s immigration system...Christie wasn’t always so circumspect. During an appearance on “This Week” in July of 2010, Christie said, “The president and the Congress have to step up to the plate, they have to secure our borders and they have to put forward a commonsense path to citizenship for people,” Christie told Tapper back then.
Obviously, Christie saw the way Marco Rubio was destroyed by Republicans when he put forth a (fairly conservative) path to citizenship and decided he'd have to play it safe. But this looks like a flip-flop to me, and it's not going to help Christie's outreach to Latinos. It's been well-documented that Republicans can't win the White House with the same white male vote that they've relied on over the last few decades. Hell, Christie himself made the case yesterday that Republicans need to reach out to minorities. The first step toward minority outreach can't be turning your back on minorities in order to win the votes of old racist voters.