KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Ross: Are there votes that aren’t worth getting?

Jan 3, 2024, 10:40 AM | Updated: 10:42 am

votes worth...

(Photo: The Associated Press)

(Photo: The Associated Press)

Should a candidate try to get every vote? It sounds like a ridiculous question, I know, but it came up yesterday during a Q&A at a diner in New Hampshire.

Candidate Chris Christie, who, considering his polling numbers, needs every vote he can get, was asked, ‘Why do Republicans keep getting accused of glossing over racism?’ ‘Why the outrage over Nikki Haley‘s answer last week when she was asked, What caused the Civil War?’

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Haley said, “The cause of the Civil War was basically how the government was going to run. The freedoms of what people could and couldn’t do.”

Well, Chris Christie saw that sterilized answer as a perfect example of his party’s problem.

“I’ll tell you a story from 2016 after I endorsed Donald Trump. You might remember he got endorsed by David Duke, the former head of the Ku Klux Klan. And so finally writes Priebus, the chairman, the RNC called me and said, Look, Trump listens to you would you please get him to say he repudiates that endorsement,” Christe said.

“And I said, ‘Sure.’ So I called Donald on his cell phone. And I said to him, ‘Look, you got this endorsement for Duke. Right?’ He goes, ‘yep, yep, yep, I know.'” Christe said. “And I said, ‘Look, I’ll write the statement for you. Let’s just put a statement out, repudiate it, you don’t accept it.’ And he goes, ‘don’t rush to do that, Chris. Remember, those people vote too, those people vote too.'”

That, Christie diagnosed, is the problem. Trying to get every vote, even when it means ignoring the very reason the Republican Party was founded.

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“Abraham Lincoln was the guy who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, who freed the slaves who fought the Civil War, to make sure that every American could be free, no matter what the color of their skin. That’s the tradition, the history of our party,” Christie said. “But we need honest men and women to stand up and say it even when they’re in the South, and they might feel uncomfortable. You need to say it, and if you get booed for it, or you lose a few votes because of it, so be it. Guess what, those are votes I don’t want.”

Noble words.

They might have worked in 1860 when Lincoln was elected, but today, Chris Christie is polling at 3.8% while Trump is polling at 61.3%, which, if you compare it to the popular vote in 1860, is 20% more than Abe Lincoln got.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Are there votes that aren’t worth getting?