President Obama's re-election campaign is trying to dig up dirt in the Garden State.Why waste any money when they can simply talk to reporters covering Christie. They all hate his guts and surely would be happy to contribute to Obama's efforts.
Despite New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's repeated pronouncements that he will not seek the GOP presidential nomination, Obama operatives are compiling a dossier of what they call "opposition research" -- material that could be used to damage Christie if he changes his mind, The Post has learned.
The Obama campaign is trying to keep its efforts from public view, concerned they would only elevate Christie's already impressive standing within the Republican Party, sources said.
But party leaders have been pushing Christie to enter the race, saying his brand of New Jersey tough talk could put the White House within reach for the GOP.Heck, all they need to ever do is float a single rumor and the entire media establishment would run with it anyway. Obama has to remember he has a trusty corps of stenographers always eager to do his bidding.
Republican leaders from Henry Kissinger to House Speaker John Boehner have encouraged him to run.
And well-heeled GOP donors in New York have been spreading word that Christie has privately shown a willingness to consider it.
They say Christie might enter the race if he can get part of his pension-reform agenda passed in Trenton and score a GOP takeover of one of the Democratic-controlled houses of the state Legislature in November.
Christie spokesman Mike DuHaime said, "This is just wishful thinking . . . He is not running, and he is not cracking the door open even a little bit."
But, DuHaime said, the efforts of the Obama camp are flattering.
He said it's "an acknowledgment that Christie is a bold leader successfully taking on big challenges as governor. A leader who cuts spending and takes on the special interests tends to earn notice at the highest levels."
Top Dems applauded Team Obama's preparation.
"It would be irresponsible for them to not start looking at it," said a consultant who played a key role in Obama's 2008 campaign. "It would be malpractice for them not to."