Chris Christie: ‘Compromise isn’t a dirty word’

October 1, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is out with a new campaign ad Tuesday with a simple message: Who's afraid of cooperation and compromise in government? Not me.

"Everything we've done has been a bipartisan accomplishment," Christie says in the spot. "See, I think as long as you stick to your principles, compromise isn't a dirty word."

The ad comes about a month before Christie faces voters. Polls show he is widely expected to win a second term. His effort to strike a bipartisan tone in the ad is consistent with the rest of his campaign. Running in a deep blue state, Christie cannot afford to adopt an overly conservative posture. So he's an embraced a message that he hopes will appeal to a wide cross section of voters.

The ad comes on the day lawmakers in Washington triggered the first federal government shutdown in nearly two decades because they were not able to resolve differences over a stopgap spending bill. So the ad also allows Christie, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, to make an implicit contrast between himself and the gridlock of Washington.

Christie's "stick to your principles" message is interesting, and a probable preview of what his 2016 message would sound like. Viewed with skepticism by some conservatives, Christie would need to convince them during a presidential campaign that he doesn't simply roll over for Democrats.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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