New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reminded Latino business owners on Wednesday that he captured a majority of the Latino vote in his 2013 re-election campaign, adding that his success can be applied on a national level.
“No one ever thought that would be possible in today’s climate for a Republican to win 51 percent of the [Latino] vote, by the way, as you all know, in a Democratic state,” Christie told the Latino Coalition business summit.
Christie’s success courting Hispanic voters came before the George Washington bridge scandal that knocked him from his status as a top-tier Republican presidential candidate. But his message on Wednesday, along with frequent trips to the early voting state of New Hampshire, signals that the Garden State governor is likely to enter the crowded GOP field – despite faltering poll numbers.
He has been attempting to set himself apart from his conservative colleagues by proposing a number of bold policy proposals in recent months, including raising the retirement age and cutting Social Security benefits for wealthy Americans.
Though he did not directly mention immigration in front of the Latino Coalition, he said many Republicans have used rhetoric that alienates minority voters.
“My party, quite frankly, has been guilty in some respects for speaking in a way that doesn't sound very welcoming to new members,” Christie said.