In an example of what has been driving so many away from the GOP, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh says that President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have a "master-servant relationship," and is calling Christie Obama's "Greek column."
"Obama has money. Governor Christie wants the money, Governor Christie needs the money, so the people will be helped. So Christie praises Obama," Limbaugh said on his radio show Tuesday. "It's a master-servant relationship. That's exactly the kind of bipartisanship that the drive-by media wants. Master-servant. That's 'bipartisan.' That's what's going on here ... Master-servant. Master-staff. Don't take it any further than that, Snerdley. I'm not going on, going there. I'm just telling you. Obama's got the money; Christie needs the money. Obama wants to walk the beach; that's what we're gonna do. Obama wants a photo-op; it's what we're gonna do."
Limbaugh is commenting on Obama's trip to New Jersey with Gov. Christie, during which the two surveyed Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts and celebrated the reopening of the Jersey beaches 7 months after the hurricane. The two leaders walked the shore and took part in some of the festivities, with Christie embarrassing Obama at a carnival game.
Limbaugh has long been critical of the two men. During Obama's 2012 visit to New Jersey before the election, Limbaugh called Christie a "Greek column" for the Obama re-election campaign.
"New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has decided to play the role of a Greek column today for President Obama," Limbaugh said, "Obama and Chris Christie will tour the Jersey shore. Who lives on the shoreline, Snerdley? That's exactly right. The 1% live on the beach. It isn't cheap, Rachel. I don't know if you know this or not. It isn't cheap to live on the beach anywhere. Well, there are a couple places, but, I mean, for the most part."
Here Limbaugh appears to be referring to the Republican governor's support of Obama's Sandy relief effort, and speculation that Christie is hoping to improve his bipartisan standing for re-election efforts and possible presidential aspirations in 2016.
Chris Christie is doing his job, and doing it well. Last week he appeared on the Today show to advertise the reopening of the shore and then held a ribbon cutting ceremony, at which he said, "[This is] an incredible day for New Jersey. Mary Pat and I were here about seven months ago and saw the destruction on this boardwalk. You know that if we all worked hard and worked together, that we would get this done," ending with a celebratory, "Let's all go to the beach!" The governor and his family also star in a new commercial airing across the region proclaiming that "We are stronger than the storm."
Rush Limbaugh attacking Christie for doing his job is exactly the type of behavior former GOP Senators Bob Dole and Olympia Snow have said is plaguing the party. Dole said the RNC should hang a "closed for repairs" sign on its doors and rethink its approach as a political party.
"Anybody who lives in New Jersey, the Jersey Shore is in your heart," the governor said on the Today Show, "and so to see this back open means everything to our state." As this week has shown, the corrosive attitudes of those like Limbaugh are truly endangering the Republican Party. If only more in the GOP could put the needs of their constituents before partisan bickering, then maybe more true leaders could get back to governing.