Former Governor Tom Kean, Sr dealt a body blow to his former protégé today in an interview published by The Washington Post.
“On the one hand, I think he’s got a lot to offer. I think he’s the most able politician since Bill Clinton,” Kean (R) said in an interview with The Washington Post. “On the other hand, you look at these other qualities and ask, do you really want that in your president?”
Kean’s comments come as the current governor is beset by controversy over revelations that officials loyal to Christie engineered closure of part of the George Washington Bridge in September, inconveniencing tens of thousands of state residents in an apparent act of vindictiveness against a local mayor.
There is no evidence that Christie knew of the actions of his subordinates and appointees, some of whom he has since fired. But Kean — who has known Christie since the current governor was a teenager — faulted Christie for establishing a culture in his tight inner circle in which no one “will ever say no to him, and that is dangerous.”
He also said that Christie’s approach to governing is overly aggressive and his agenda is personal.
In a press conference last month, Christie said he had not talked to Kean Sr since the attempt to oust Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr from his leadership post. Kean Sr has characterized Christie’s ill-fated attempt to replace Kean Jr with State Senator Kevin O’Toole as a personal betrayal.
Christie’s got some fence mending to do.