BY JAKE BULLINGTON
“Now that it’s caucus day, showtime’s over. It’s game time.”
New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie came to Drake Law school for one of his last pre-Iowa caucus campaign stops.
Christie, a former federal prosecutor, brought along a familiar face to the Drake Law School, Iowa governor Terry Branstad.
Branstad is a Drake Law graduate and is the longest serving governor in U.S. history.
Christie is the latest candidate to visit campus, and aimed to inspire a new generation of lawyers and civil servants.
Known for his pragmatism on the campaign trail in comparison to some of his Republican opponents, Christie veered away from partisanship and emphasized the need to reach across the aisle in order to accomplish things while in office.
“It’s more than just politics,” Christie said.
For sophomore Law, Politics and Sociey major Maddie Miller, Christie was not what she expected.
“Leaving the town hall, I was truly stunned,” Miller said.” I did not expect the experience to be such a positive one as I found that Christie was fairly direct in pragmatically answering questions and discussing issues that were relevant to those present.”
Branstad touted Christie’s ability to take on challenges while in office. After all, as the audience was reminded throughout the town hall, Christie is a Republican governor in a very Democratic state.
Branstad has also appeared at other campaign events for other candidates. Branstad has a history of not endorsing any candidate for president, but has spoken against electing U.S. senator from Texas Ted Cruz.
Branstad has recently gone public about his opposition to Senator Cruz, as Cruz’s policy positions on Iowan issues like the Renewable Fuel Standard are cause for economic concern according to Branstad.
Although Branstad has publicly shown interest in candidates, like Donald Trump, the moderate-by-comparison Christie distanced himself in answering a question about the future for the Republican party.
Christie said that if voters, especially students, are concerned about the rhetoric by further-right candidates like Cruz or Trump, “just don’t vote for them.”
The joke garnered laughs but Christie indicated that he meant it and that voters in Iowa should caucus for someone who’s more willing to reach across the aisle.
Christie also said he’d prefer if that other candidate would be him. His pleas were to no avail: Christie came fourth out of five governors in the Republican field, and tenth overall.