Which GOP candidate benefits most from Gov. Christie's decision not to run for president?
October 4th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Which GOP candidate benefits most from Gov. Christie's decision not to run for president?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has shut the door on a 2012 presidential run, saying "now is not my time."

Christie says he won't abandon the commitment he made to his state as governor – you know, unlike a certain half-term dropout governor of Alaska.

Christie put it this way: "New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me."

This also means that whether Republican voters like it or not, they are stuck with the current crop of Republican candidates.

Unless, that is, Sarah Palin decides she'll get in. But it's getting a little late for that. Plus, more than two-thirds of Republicans say they don't want Palin to run for president.

So with Christie out, it looks like Republicans will nominate either Mitt Romney or Rick Perry, who's sinking fast in the polls.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Romney leading the pack at 25%.

Perry is now tied for second place with businessman Herman Cain at 16%.

For Perry, that's a whopping 13 percentage-point drop in this poll.

The Texas governor's stock has been falling after a shaky debate performance and questions about where he stands on Social Security and immigration.

Cain, on the other hand, has been surging in national polls after his surprise win in the Florida straw poll – and a flurry of media attention.

Ron Paul is the only other candidate receiving double-digit support in this survey, at 11%.

With primary season sneaking up on us, it's time for Republicans to pick their poison.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:
It’s like asking, "Who won the Miss Secaucus Beauty Contest in 1955?...Nobody!" No one wins even if they run and win. America is on the decline courtesy of both the Republicans and Democrats – and Americans wishing to buy their snake oil politics. Christie is the big winner for staying out of it and perhaps being recruited as the Number 2 on the ticket with Romney. New Jersey's Big Boy gets his cake and can eat it too.

Harriet in Bayside, New York:
I think that there are two Republican candidates who benefit: Romney and Huntsman. But, the person who really benefits is President Obama.

None of them. I mean, what does it say that the media flocked to Christie like seagulls to a kid with popcorn? It is obvious that the current bunch are leftover scraps and the GOP is still looking. Still way early. The GOP is toast. It can't win!

Joe on Facebook:
Without a doubt, Romney. Perry and Bachmann are fighting over the far right wing tea party voters. Christie was appealing to the more moderate wing of the Republican Party, and with him gone, Romney will pick up the more rational Republicans.

None of them do. Maybe you guys didn't notice but Christie was never going to run. I'm sure the rest of the morons, I mean candidates, knew that too. You guys have just been hounding the poor guy because you don't want to report on things that actually matter. Get with the program, Jack, you’re as much a part of the problem as the rest of us.

Cardhu in Colorado:
So Gov. Coronary is staying in N.J. This is good news for the rest of us in the other 49 states. The candidate who benefits the most is President Barack Obama. The Republican Tallest Leprechaun contest can now continue.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • Gov. Chris Christie • Republican Party • Republicans
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. Pat in Michigan

    Romney by far.Now maybe The GOP will pick him because he is wiling to meet in the middle without loking like he is meeting in the middle.But I stil dont think he has the guts to marginalize the tea party and take on his own party to reach the center.

    October 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  2. Kelly Ontario, Canada

    None, because President Obama will win regardless. He is the only sane person running. Besides Jack, its not the President that needs to be replaced, its congress!!

    October 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  3. Dave - Phx

    None of them will be helped. This has to be the worst group of candidates ever assembled for a run at the presidency. Republicans are truly insane if they think a normal moderate Independent is going to vote for any of these people.

    October 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  4. Carl in San Diego

    No one, it is still a crapshoot.

    October 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  5. David of Alexandria VA

    I'd have to say Romney. Christie's glib style and brash approach gets the juices flowing, but can be distracting for someone who is more eserved and methodocal. We've got glib, oratorical, and inexperienced now. I don't want glib, brash, oratorical, or inexperienced after 2012.

    October 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  6. Harriet J. Brown

    I think that there are rwo Republican candidates who benefit. Romney and Huntsman. But, the person who really benefits is President Obama.

    Bayside, NY

    October 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  7. Jayne in NH

    I imagine the less loony ones of the bunch benefit: Romney and Huntsman.

    October 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  8. RW from New Mexico

    No Republican candidates will benefit from Christie's non-participation. The media has already crowned Christie as the best Republican option out there only to leave folks with the "Awe shucks! This is all we have left?" attitude. It is a calculated media move to bring a sense of discontent to the primary voters.

    October 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  9. Ed in Harrisburg

    This question reminds me of the old joke, "Who one the Miss Secaucus Beauty Contest in 1955?...Nobody!!!" No one wins even if they run and win. America is on the decline courtesy of both the Republicans and Democrats and Americans wishing to buy their snake oil politics. Christie is the big winner for staying out of it and perhaps being recruited as the Number 2 on the ticket with Romney. New Jersey's Big Boy gets his cake and can eat it too...

    October 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  10. John from Alabama

    Jack: All the republicans candidates will benefit. The most to benefit would be Gov. Rick Perry, because he is having a rough time right now. Gov. Christie's decision not to run will help Rick Perry in the short term. Long term his decision not to enter the race helps Romney and Obama.

    October 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  11. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Its hard to say Jack but my guess would be Romney has more to gain. I still do not think the American people are crazy about any republican candidate but we have some time yet before the primaries and that may change. All it takes is one event or mistake and the balance beam will swing. Right now Obama's ratings are the lowest they have ever been and that makes him vulnerable. Obama has one foot on ice and the other on a banana peel. One false step and he goes under the GOP bus.

    October 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  12. Jk from Minnesota

    That field is so weak that I'm not sure anyone REALLY benefits. I would say Mitt Romney if I were forced to pick one.

    October 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  13. Pete in Georgia

    Probably Romney because of the northeastern voting bloc he will keep and strengthen.

    October 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  14. Ron WPAFB

    None of them. I mean, what does it say that the Media flocked to Christie like Sea Gulls to a kid with popcorn! It is obvious that the current bunch are left over scrapes and the GOP is still looking. Still way early, and then there is the platform they run on, To get Obama Out! They have alienated the Hispanics, the Blacks, the Elderly, the Sick, and they can't run on fear!!!! They have nothing to vote for. The Republican Congress still blocking Jobs and won't do anything unless it's their way! The GOP is Toast! It can't win!

    October 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  15. Terry in Virginia

    Romney benefits greatly. Darn you, Governor Christie!

    October 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  16. Joe R - Houston, TX

    The Republican candidates who will benefit most from Governor Christie's decision not to run for president are those who have no decades long history of allegiance to the constitution, those with no unwavering support of sound money and no consistent defense of individual freedom, property and contract rights... in other words – all but congressman Ron Paul.

    October 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  17. Loren

    Plain and simple, Romney. Christie would have taken the moderate vote from Romney and now there are no other Republican candidates with enough nam recognition for the press to notice to grab those votes.

    October 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  18. Noel Sivertson Roswell New Mexico.

    Probably Mitt Romney if Republicans other than the tea partiers have any say anymore. He's about the only one, along with John Huntsman, that is not certifiable.

    Gary Johnson is not that bad. He was a pretty good governor of New Mexico.

    Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan is a disaster for a middle class that is rapidly shrinking.

    Michele Bachmann is little more than a Valley Girl edition of Sarah Palin

    Ron and Rand Paul remind me of Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

    Rick Santorum... blah, blah, blah.

    Rick Perry...read my lips, no new Texans.

    October 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  19. Kim , Dodge City, Kansas

    Probably Romney, but my hope is that Ron Paul gets a boost out of this. The real winner from his decision not to run, is the American public. Although Christie would be a good candidate we cannot bear the burden that another Republican president, and the administration that would be riding in on his coat tails, would heap upon an already damaged populace.

    October 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  20. Dennis north carolina

    Gov. Perry and Romney

    October 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  21. Gary H. Boyd

    Mitt Romney without question Jack. Perry and the rest are fading fast while, with Christie out of the picture, big money will now flow to Romney from those who have been awaiting a final "NO" from Christie. Obama's acknowledged being the underdog even though the Republicans haven't yet got their candidate. Romney's going to be President Jack and I'm betting my entire fortune and little dog Spot on that.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    October 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  22. Doug

    Sara Palin, and Lindsey Graham. The two unannouced candidates, that could make this race interesting. Doug. Pepperell, MA.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  23. Scott from Bellingham

    Christie not running mostly helps Mitt and possibly Newt, should Newt continue on the rise in popularity, because these three have a similar record that is more central on immigration and gay rights.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  24. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    All of them since based on what Mr. Christie says he would have been a shoe in for the nomination. Maybe the one that will benefit the most is the quitter that hasn't declared so she can make more money from the F network and keep America on pins and needles waiting for her to make a decision. The field for the GOP is like the currnet Congress, say a lot and do nothing except hurt the middle and lower income working people.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  25. Weldon from Newmarket ON Canada

    Sarah Palin ! ! !

    October 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  26. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Mitt Romney benefits. Christie would've taken from Mitt's fundraisers and supporters who thought Mitt was phony but not crazy. Now they'll have to either settle for Mitt or out they'll sit.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  27. bud rupert

    In my view Romney. Romney is trying to strike a balance between the mooks on the far right and the more reasonable folks who just want a common sense solution to our troubles. Christi, if he had ran, would have take that space

    October 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  28. Thom Richer

    Perry. It gives him another week of pretending he could be president in front of cameras before he drops out. It now opens the door for the next pretender to join in on a quixotical ego trip...Palin. Realistically and practically, there are no more viable Righteous Winger candidates left out there to run. Hell they are lucky to have the ones they have now. Romney, Gingrich and Cain are it and in that order. The remainder are wasting their and our time and money. Christie is a local talent not suited for the presidency now or ever. He knows it and to his credit is smart enough to not give in to political vanity.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    October 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  29. Cardhu

    So Gov. Chris Coronary is staying in NJ. This is good news for the rest of us in the other 49 states. The candidate who benefits the most is President Barack Obama . The Republican Tallest Leprechaun contest can now continue.

    – Cardhu, Centennial Colorado

    October 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  30. Paul P.

    To me its obvious it would be Romney, he is the most moderate candidate remaining that has a real shot at challenging Obama. Without Christie running he has that niche market all carved out for himself.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  31. RickFromDetroit

    My guess is Ron Paul would benefit the most for Gov. Christie's decision not to run, and then Mitt Romney may get a slight boost over Rick Perry.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  32. Gene Harris

    At least in the short term it benefits Romney. Clearly Christie was being prodded to run because the GOP establishment's golden boy, Romney, is flailing and failing. I'm not sure who it might be, but it will not surprise me if they attempt to spin another "white knight" in the coming days. They seem unwilling to understand that there is a large contingent within their party that will not settle for the status quo any longer although they seem perceptive enough to deduce that Romney is a sure loser.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  33. Jake from Ottawa

    No one Chris Christie would be like Fred Tompson. He would show up and not do anything

    October 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  34. Jim Thomas

    We have to many deadheaded politicans now. We need H. Cain with Bachman/Palin.All incumbants must go no matter who they are.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  35. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    Paul will certainly not get the Fat vote. Bachman could no way get the Intelligence vote. Romney does not appear to be, well maybe he is, no he isn't, no, yes, well he may not get the 'Mind-made-up' vote. Perry is an unlikely candidate for the Eloquent vote. Cain does not need the Tough Talk vote. Palin could have used the Part term governor vote, but alas!

    That leaves Huntsman to inherit the vacuous votes abandoned by Christie – oops, I mean that leaves Huntsman to fill the vacuum left by Christie.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  36. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    The one that tells the truth to the American people in simple terms and keeps his or her word.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  37. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Couldn't tell you who would benefit from Christie not running, unless you factor in the buffet table, then all candidates benefit.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  38. Arthur Sayed

    They all benefit because he would have taken votes away from all of the candidates besides Ron Paul. He might have even taken a national lead in the polls for a couple weeks, similar to the Rick Perry fad we all witnessed.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  39. Bert from L.A.

    Hi Jack, Governor Christie benefits the most in the 2016 election because unlike all other GOP candidates he will not have "loser 2012" attched to his name.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  40. Al, Lawrence KS

    There are only 2 candidates in this race, Mitt and Anyone-but-Mitt. I suspect that Anyone-but-Mitt will benefit the most. just as soon as we is figure out who the heck that is.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  41. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Mitt Romney, since they held similar positions on most issues. Major donors will not give to Tea Party candidates who could never win. Huntsman is out due to his Obama connection. Gingrich is too much of a wonk and Santorum, Perry, Bachman, Paul and Johnson are competing for the same votes. We know Paul will stay in and Romney will have sole possession of the non-TEA vote.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  42. Gail, Plano TX.

    President Obama benefits the most with Christie's elimination. No other candidate presents a challenge to the President. They are all seriously flawed. I am delighted with this outcome, as I feel the GOP are absolutely despicable. A good day today for America!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  43. Laith Gulli, Columbus, IN

    Hi Jack

    No current GOP candidate stands to gain anything. The only potential candidate who would have gained something would be Sarah Palin, because it would help neutralize her leaving her post as Governor of Alaska, if Christie left his post. Gov. Christie shocked me during his speech saying that we must move from and entitlement society to an opportunity society–it sure seems he thinks that he is "enitited", especially when he used a State Police Helicopter to attend his child's baseball game–which it seems as an entitled person he tried get away with it, until it was made public.

    Laith Columbus indiana

    October 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  44. Greg McCarthy

    Jack, Since the GOP candidate's favorability seems to change as often as my wife's mood during 'that week',I would say the one candidate who is benefitting would be whoever the 'candidate du jour' currently is. With so many candidates,we can't even predict who will be left. It's like the old gameshow 'To Tell The Truth' when they are asked at the end,'Will the real candidate please stand up?' Lol,to tell the truth. That's an entirely different subject. Greg M. Largo,FL

    October 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  45. J. Davis, Knoxville, TN

    Actually in a way I'm sorry to see Christie not run. He seems to have been the smartest choice for the Republicans; at least he is not ultra right wing on social issues. It doesn't really matter though because I fully support the re-election of President Obama. I would say Romney has the most to gain from Governor Christie pulling out. I hope Rick Perry keeps making the mistakes in his commentary because he would be like another George W. Bush all over again and that obviously was a disaster! Just say no to Texans!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  46. Gigi Oregon

    The President is not the problem, if you look at the government polls it's congress. So it will be more of the same. Unless...instead of re-election we recall all the Tea party , who think their right(wingers).and send them packing and then maybe we can get on with running the government. And not vote in anymore tea par-tiers, who are anti-government and anti everything that's is not for big business. Romney is probably the best choice by appearance and presentation.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  47. Fred In LA

    Herman Cain, the next President of The United States. If people don't vote for him, they're racists.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  48. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    I'm curious as to why any of the GOP "candidates" would benefit one way or the other? Even if Christie had said that he was joining into the free-for-all, he would have surged to the head of the pack like Perry did when he jumped in. But then the voting public would really "see" Christie (and he is really hard to miss) for what he is and then he, like Perry, would auger in leaving Romney as the only "logical" one to get the GOP nomination.

    Cain will never get the nomination because, as much as they scream they aren't, the GOP has a nasty racial streak running through them.

    As for Paul, he is just too far out there for the even the craziest of Republicans.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  49. David

    Obama get the benefits. Christie more tough than all republican candidates.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  50. D. Moore, Orlando, FL

    Herman Cain is the only nominee with a chance to beat Obama.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  51. marybeth, massachusetts


    None of them. Everything goes back to exactly the way it was before the media created all of this Christie hype much ado about nothing.

    I'm an Independent, voted for Hillary in the 2008 primaries, voted for Obama in the general election because McCain seemed to have developed Alzheimer's (went against everything he stood for in the past) and went insane when he picked Palin. Picking Palin was the last straw–she scared the hell out of me, and I couldn't believe that McCain would pick someone as stupid as her as a running mate.

    I'm very disappointed in Obama, but I'm far more scared of the current crop of Republicans vying for the nomination. Oh, and I'm from Massachusetts, and believe me, Romney isn't the panacea for the country's ills. He was a one-term governor who left Massachusetts a fiscal disaster. So much for his "business" experience. I would never in a million years vote for Romney after what he did to this state.

    The country needs someone who can put the country first, as in "service first, self second", and that means EVERYONE, not just the über wealthy. It isn't Romney.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  52. Larry of Boston, Massachusetts

    Obama benefits a good deal. If the country really wants a choice in 2012, then a Democrat or two should challenge Obama in the Democratic Primary - that would give the country the best choice for President

    October 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  53. Itsmeagain

    Romney or Paul would benefit. Maybe McCain will try again.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  54. Ros.....Illinois

    Who cares? Bring on any of them as my vote is for our President Obama. He is far more intelligent than all of them put togather. The Republicans got us in this mess and have NO idea what to do about it. They would take away Social Security, Medicare, Schools, Womens Rights, Contraception, heap big taxes on all (but the rich), etc.
    Vote out all Republicans so Obama can get the job done that he has been trying to do.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  55. Larry of Boston, Massachusetts

    Obama benefots the most. Chrietie's campaign message would have been something like "America is the land of opportunity, not the land of entitlements" Obama is destroying this nation, and it will take years to recover from the harm he has done.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  56. Larry L

    The individual who benefits the most is Governor Christie himself. He is spared the pain and humiliation of being associated with what's left of the Republican Party. Possibly when the GOP stops taking all of their marching orders from the Tea Party extremists and begins to think about all of the American people some of us will once again consider Republicans a reasonable option to consider. That's not happening soon...

    October 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  57. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    I guess Romney will now back into the nomination. But look for the Republican enthusiasm gap to shrink.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  58. maine liberal

    there is a lot of bottom to that "top"

    October 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

    The person who benefits the most is obviously Sarah Palin! With Christie now out of it, the media can go back to focusing on her "will-will not-might-maybe" non candidacy.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  60. Oscar Tremont

    Perry, because he won't be eclipsed by the next new flavor, and Romney, because he is the smartest guy left standing.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  61. Donald Berry

    Chrisie out benefits Chrisie and his family! who wants the heart ache and head ache of managing this mess?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  62. Anthony in Maryland

    Christie is smart! He realizes that regardless of who takes the office in 2012 they will catch Hell. The nation is divided and therefore whoever is in the seat of power will do either two things make it better or make it worst. God help us all!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  63. Stephen Herzog

    The American people, Jack. While Gov. Christie has charisma, he is not even half way through his first term as Governor. He's still a little "wet behind the ears". Obama also has charisma, and look at the difficulty he is experiencing having only been a senator for a short perod of time before taking office.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  64. RG in NJ

    Christies out, who benefits? Everyone except NJ. Painful cuts, throwing the disabled out on the street while giving tax breaks to his rich buddies. Property taxes soaring since he cut aid to municipalities. He's a part of the new Republican "Let Them Die" campaign.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  65. Jenna Roseville CA

    Which GOP candidate benefits most from Gov. Christie's decision not to run for president?

    It doesn't matter Jack because Obama is going to win a 2nd term.

    Americans are sick and tired of the Republicans saying NO to anything and everything so when we head to the polls in 2012 we the people are going to fire them and vote for Democrats and give them the Super Majority they need to get the job done!

    Republicans care nothing about AMERICANS unless you have Serious MONEY.

    We 99er's (the 99% of Americans that are controlled by the top 1% of Americans) have had ENOUGH.

    Jenna Wade
    Roseville CA

    October 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  66. Scott - Washington DC

    I actually think this might be a blessing in disguise for Rick Perry. He had a rough couple weeks, but sooner or later most conservatives want to start rallying around a credible candidate that is not Mitt Romney. Romney has enjoyed the support of roughly 1 in 5 Republicans, give or take, and has not done much better. If Perry can bounce back with a stronger debate performance or speech, he's back on top. A lot of conservatives want to support him, they just want assurance that he won't blow an election for them. He needs a strong answer for the 75-80% of Republicans that do not want to nominate Romney.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  67. Ralph Nelson

    The Republican candidates are all awful, but most likely Romney who looks the part.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  68. DrJStrangepork

    GOP should pick Romney. He has a real chance to beat Obama. Cain, Bachmann, Santorum... these people are can't win. I don't know if Paul can win. He is a scary little guy. He might be the best person for the job, but unorthodox. Perry should have stayed out. He has shown some soft points that are not pretty. Romney is just boring enough to get there. No flash, just plain vanilla President stuff.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  69. David in Seattle


    October 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  70. Obama in 2012...I guess.

    Obama benefits the most. The Republicans had a silver platter. They've blasted the administration for 3 years, the economy is in the tank, Obama's ratings are dismal and all they had to do was find one...ONE...electable candidate. Maybe next time they should put their efforts into finding solutions as opposed to pointing out problems. So far all they have done is make Congress worse and give us Romney, Perry or Cain to choose from. All of a sudden, Obama isn't looking so bad.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  71. AgrippaMT

    So the Republicans are now stuck with the current gang of goons as their prospective Presidential nominee. How sweet it is. Couldn't happen to a nicer gang of folks.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  72. Todd in DC

    Actually, the one who benefits the most from this is Christie himself. He realizes that Obama is a strong candidate despite the economy, and he'd rather wait until 2016

    October 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  73. Mary

    Actually, Jack the republicans should be glad that Christie decided not to run, he is so in love with himself, and he has no class and sounds like a street thug. I don't think it matters which one it will benefit, the remaining two, Perry and Romney are both losers. Huntsman is the only one who speaks and acts like common sense, but, of course, the crazies don't want him. How obvious is that?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  74. Lori - PA


    We don't even know how Christie would have done if he had decided to run. The same thing could have happened to him that's happening to Perry. Instead of talking about what might have been, it's time for Republican's to focus on whose is running, and pick someone. If you don't like Romney or Perry, what about Hermain Cain, Ron Paul, John Huntsman, or one of the candidates that don't even get mentioned by the media (I know there's at least one)? Maybe one of the candidates that the media doesn't talk about could have views similar to those of Christie.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  75. Stevf

    The American people benefit the most.....................

    October 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  76. Larry -Denver

    Does it really matter? Losers all. Christie will run in 2016, after all the smoke clears from another Republican disaster in 2012. Its also to be a Demorcatic disaster too, but the field for right now is the junior varsity.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  77. Biinyam

    Christie has made the right decision as he doesn't have much time to catch up with the other candidates. Perry 's position on immigration and Social security in addition to his weak debate performance has put him in to question. Therefore the only person left as I am concerned is Romney of Massachusetts.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  78. Ann from Charleston SC

    Who cares which candidate, or, which party will benefit from Christie's decision not to run. I know who will not benefit, particularly if Obama loses this election, and that is the USA and the American people. We need two strong candidates like we had in 2008 so that no matter who wins, we have a strong leader. I know, I know, many think Obama is not a strong leader. I think that he has it in him, he just need to find his mojo.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  79. Linda in Arizona

    I find it difficult to think about republicans benefiting from anything. I wish them nothing but a well-deserved defeat.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  80. Jerry from Virginia

    The candidate who should benefit is Ron Paul. He's the only one who seems to care about this country more than his own job. If you actually let the people hear what he has to say, his numbers would soar.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  81. Truth Squad

    Wow, Jack Cafferty asking his audience to handicap the Republican field.

    Isn't that like asking a Red Sox fan what he thinks of the Yankees line-up or pitching staff?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  82. Neil from houston TX

    I do not know who benefits but Americans are losing fast. Either its Obama or Romney guaranteed double dip recession. Perry probably if he pulls of texas job creation for America may be some hope but we all know GOP are a bunch of lunatics and they will select romney

    October 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  83. Ed Hansen


    This cycle, Christie's decision will assist the centrist, non-evangelical businessmen, Romney and Huntsman, who would be displaced by Christie's entrance to the race. But without a doubt, it's Chris Christie himself who is the big winner, because he'll be untarnished by the current GOP scrum should he run in 2016.


    October 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  84. MikeM in Ohio

    We do. He might have been the only person the GOP had who looks either sane or human.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  85. jean

    Who wins? Christie of course! Until the republicans in congress can start talking good sense, any sensible person won't want to deal with them!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  86. Terry Wells -Hoosier Hillbilly-IN

    Jenna Roseville CA
    It doesn't matter Jack because Obama is going to win a 2nd term.
    That can't be...Please God give "US" a president!
    "GIVE "US" LIBERTY or give "US" DEATH!"

    October 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  87. carly

    President Obama will win because there is not a stable person in the Republican crop of losers running this year. As much as Americans may be down on the economic situation in this country they will not vote in any of these people. The real issue is will the American voter do the right thing and dump all the GOP/Tea Party members who have held this country hostage for 2 years and they are doing it again with the jobs bill.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  88. s in fl

    Anyone and everyone within earshot of the babble of political talking heads. Saved us from a month or two of slobbering adulation before the final smoking tail-spin. THink about it, an ex-Madoff lobbyist running in this climate?
    I don't think so, Jack.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  89. Susan in Texas

    That's easy, President Obama!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  90. kp

    So, Romney, the second tier candidate 3 years ago will be the nominee of republican party. Why should one expect that he will beat Obama this time?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  91. Dave in Ann Arbor, MI

    Christie himself will be the winner. Perhaps if he spent more time focusing on losing weigth instead of eating everything in sight, his health and longevity would improve. Simply stated, he's not physically fit to run for President.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  92. Mike in TX

    Not America Jack. I'm a pretty strong Democrat but might have leaned towards voting for him. The country is in real trouble if any of the others get elected and try to "lead" the Rep's in Congress to actually accomplishing something.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  93. curtis in philadelphia

    Who really knows' Jack, but the Republicans sound like the General Manager of a baseball team who's looking to unload an underachieving superstar for a player to be named later.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  94. Scott Stodden

    I Said It Before And I'll Say It Again That Governor Mitt Romney Will Be The Republican Nominee In 2012! He Is The Right Choice For The Republican Nomination Because He Has Alot Of Business Experience, He Knows Why Jobs Come And Why Jobs Go And He May Just Be The Guy Who Can Actually Turn This Economy Around. To Bad I Won't Be Voting For You Mitt Romney In 2012-If Only You Weren't For Privitazing Social Security And Trying To End It And Medicare Maybe Then You Could Have My Vote! Re-Elect President Obama In 2012!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, Illinois)

    October 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  95. Will

    Jack: I'd go with Romney, the most electable GOP candidate. If the rest of the party gets behind him, this could be a win for everyone. Even the Dems would fare better in the long run if our current President is not re-elected.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  96. Dave in Ann Arbor, MI

    Christie himself will be the winner. With his weight problem he is not physically fit to run for President, let alone be elected. He doesn't need that stress.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  97. Manny Báez

    Was he ever in ?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  98. Keri Bolivar in Tampa, FL

    Forget who benefits......it's who loses the most that counts...and in this case, it's the late night comedians. Back to the drawing table!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  99. Jon from Tempe

    This one is easy Jack. Mitt Romney without question. Both Mitt and Chris would have been competing for the moderate demographic in the Republican field. Now Mitt gets it all to himself. I am still looking for the candidate who will go for the sane demographic!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  100. Bob

    I'd say the winner here has to be The Ultimate Shape Shifter himself, Mitt Romney. He now owns the left wing of the GOP, whatever that is, and will say whatever it takes to fool the right wing long enough to get the nomination.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  101. Matt

    Romney. Because the "anti-Romney" candidates look a little too much like the AntiChrist to all but the extreme right wing of the GOP.

    Saint Augustine, FL

    October 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  102. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Unless Sarah Palin decides to run-heaven forbid-for president, I don't see any Republican candidate that will benefit from the absence of Chris Christie from the race. Romney, Cain, and Perry will be too busy jockeying for top position, Ron Paul will be ignored for the most part, and Bachmann will fail to even capture a large enough majority to be viable.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  103. Susan from Idaho

    The one that hasn't thrown his?her hat in the ring yet. None of the rest has snowballs' chance in Hades. Romney is an also ran and the rest are laughing stocks.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  104. Sunny

    The public! One less idiot to worry about!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  105. Denise Perry

    Greetings from Union Parish,Louisiana Jack:)
    I was totally pulling for Perry until the recent 'N' word controversy...so I put all my republican eggs in a Christie basket;
    since he honorably bowed out, I'm voting to re-elect President Obama; the current Republicans on the band wagon leave a bad taste in my mouth...sorta dry....like their personalities:(

    October 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  106. Stephen Allen

    I believe Cain benefits the most. His steady rise can now be given the chance to continue. If Governor Christie would have entered he would have lost the rush he has going for him right now. Cain has been given a valuable gift, I hope he makes the most of it.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  107. martyAZ

    As an independent....no Christy....looks like Romney will get my vote!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  108. Jesse

    Jack, I can't speak for any of the candidates as to whom will benefit by Gov. Ghristie announcing he is not a candidate; but there was a huge sigh of relief coming from the Air Force. Had Christie won, they were afraid they would have to mothball the fleet of E-4s (B-747s); and quickly refurbish a Galaxy C5A as Air Force One.

    Jesse in Texas

    October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  109. Mike Berry

    First, I am proud of the fact that Governor Christie kept his promise to the voters of New Jersey. Unlike President Obama who quit his Senate post only months after taking office to run for president, Christie kept his commitment. It is most likely that Mitt Romney will deservingly benefit from Governor Christie's choice. Romney is the closest to Christie in his point of view and positions....thus he will benefit the most. Kudos to Governor Christie – a man with convictions!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  110. Donna

    Use this one Please!!! Disregard last post from Donna

    Christie decision is bittersweet for me. This means that as a teacher and the wife of a firefighter, I will have to endure his focused demoralization for another two years without any distractions a run for the White House might have entailed. both of those professions. Who stands to benefit most? Obama. The pool of Republican candidates is unelectable; each one is nuttier than the next. The exceedingly vocal bully from NJ would have been a formidable candidate.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  111. Dave in Ann Arbor, MI

    Christie himself will be the winner when he can run in 2016, not 2012. He'd never beat Obama, but 2016 may be a different story.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  112. Joe from Brigantine, NJ

    Chris Cristie benefits the most by avoiding being another circus oddity trotted out for approval of a bunch of clearly confused and confusing whackos. Good move Chris your careeer will continue rather than end up on the rocks of righteousness. Avoid this gun toting, bible belters, homo bashing zealots who have drawn a line in the sand that says "my way or the highway". Sounds Dictatorial, doesn't it?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  113. Jesse R. Fleming

    Rick Perry benefits the most because less of his die hard, far right GOP "Klan" supporters will be taken away. They will continue to be lied to and led to believe in a man with a scary flash-bang skeleton instead of the hope of a President with proposals that will bring new economy boom and better equality for all.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  114. Jim Campbell, St. Paul, MN

    President Obama.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  115. Fran in Wisconsin


    October 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  116. Courtney from Florida

    Actually Jack, it is none of the GOP candidates, but I believe it will be President Obama. Have you seen any of the Republican debates lately? They are just plain awful and scary to watch. The tea party is destroying what good is left in the Republican Party.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  117. Jim, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

    The person who benefits the most is the average American. Christie is the only one of the lot that could have given Obama a run for his money. Unfortuantely 4 more years of Obama will cause even more coniptions to the Tea Party, so look for them to stonewall and tear down the country piece by piece to blame it on Obama. On the other hand, if the Republicans gained the White House, The American middle class would suffer terribly.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  118. Joe Truth

    Actually, the Tea Party is the middle. You should read more.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  119. Larry in Houston

    Jack – I'm a Democrat, but don't always vote that way. I vote for the person who would be best for the Job – compared to the other candidate. After watching the debate(s) on CNN & the "other" Channel, If Obama runs against Ron Paul or Herman Cain, at This point I would Vote for Ron Paul or Cain. But, unfortunately, if any of those right wing nut Jobs run against Obama, I guess I will have to Vote for Obama. But believe me, right now, I am giving Obama a "D +" for his overall Job performance. By the way – the "plus" is FOR getting bin laden & al-lawki

    as for your Question : right now, I think Romney would benefit the Most.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  120. Bob Courtney

    Herman Cain will continue to surge despite Governor Christy decision. Palin is not a factor other than maybe Obama should take her lead and resign early for the good of the country. Alaska seems to be doing well now.


    October 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  121. Jesse R. Fleming from Union, SC

    My personal candidate I am supporting will, and that is Jon Huntsman. He has good ideals and a great plan and I believe more people are coming aboard.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  122. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    With Christie gone from the race, and while all the Republicans stand there while their crowd cheers executions in Texas, and boos a soldier who fought in Iraq, demeans science in favor of religion and want to lower taxes on the rich until what is left of the middle class disappears, with any logic or values, not to mention real patriotism, the winner is Obama

    October 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  123. Logan in Arizona

    He certainly didn't help Sarah Pailn. Now there are two candidates waiting out Obama for 2016 without taking any "punches" in this year's election. The GOP is too thin to make an impact this year so it is already time to look at the real heavyweight bout in a few years when a title is actually up for grabs.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  124. Houcine

    President Obama is the winner. Chris Christie could have been a game changer for the Republican base, which is currently not satisfied with either Romney or Perry. I viewed him as a wild card, and I am glad he chose not to run.

    Having said that, Obama and the Democrats better do some serious work to convince Americans to vote for Obama come 2012.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  125. Al

    Obviously all of them benefit, since now they can rest assured that their competition is not out of their league.... at least until the presidential election itself.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  126. Ned

    That is an easy question Jack, The Winning Candidate benefits the most

    October 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  127. Chuck Howley


    You said that it's time for Republicans to "pick their poison"... if I'm quoting you correctly? Well Republicans, Democrats and Independents just want to oust the poison currently residing in the White House!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  128. Ned, Wheatfield, Indiana

    That is a very easy question Jack, The Republican Winner benefits the most!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  129. Cy

    Republicans keep shooting themselves in the foot. Obama will benefit. Repubs are disorganized to put it mildly.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  130. Jim-Charlotte NC

    Who cares.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  131. nancy

    Romney/Cain 2012-–can beat Obama–hope to God they do!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  132. Nardo Cape Coral FL

    Which GOP candidate? Really Jack? who cares not a one of them is going to make any difference in the economy, just as the current admin, the better question is "WHEN DO THE PEOPLE BENEFIT "?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  133. tope orogun

    None Jack, the fact is no republican candidate would want to jump into the race while the economy is still a mess.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  134. Joan

    The only one who will benefit will be President Obama. Who wants to go back to the same old same old which got us into this mess in the first place.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  135. Gerald Tampa, FL

    I can tell you who doesn't; America.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  136. Kieran

    Mitt Romney.

    Polls released today showed that Christie would have taken support from every frontrunner apart from Ron Paul, but Romney, being first, must be relieved another moderate isn't joining the race.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  137. Adam

    If either Romney or Cain become the GOP candidate, Obama is totally screwed. I mean there will be zero chance Obama gets re elected. Independants will flock to Romney or Cain.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  138. Ed from California

    Jack, Pres. Obama is in...take that to Vegas!!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  139. Bobbi from L.A.

    Cain – until the evangelicals get all up in arms about having to vote for "raising Cain..." And then it will be nitwit-Mitt.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  140. Adam

    If Herman Cain doesn't win the primary election, he'd be the perfect choice for VP. Cain and Biden are the total opposite of one another. Entertainment value would be huge in the debates.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  141. Dave, Orlando, FL

    A rising tide and all that, but probably Romney will get it since he’s got the recognition and, unlike the others, he’s run enough times to know how to avoid stepping in something. But I have to clear up something about Christie. He can not run for anything, his supporters ask too much of him. If he were to seek the presidential nomination the best he could do would be to waddle for president.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  142. Brad, Portland, OR

    "Pick your poison" is right. They're all pretty toxic.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  143. Richard S. Russell

    Which Republican benefits the most? Chris Christie, because he spares himself the muckfest, high blood pressure, and need to gladhand with wealthy fools that a presidential campaign requires.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  144. Steve

    I wouldn't wish this US presidency on ANYONE. Nothing is going to pull the US out of this economic dive except for drastic measures to make the US attractive to manufacturing. We need a CEO much like those who are paid obscene salaries because they are experts at saving corporations from going over the brink. In addition to this fictional expert, we need for the House and Senate to take a few years off.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  145. Ken Victoria BC

    The answer to your question is that Mr. Romney will benefit. However and there is always a however, Mr. Obama will be reelected.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  146. Jason

    Christie has the charm, wit and record to make a great presidential candidate.

    Perry has none of those qualities – so I'll go with Perry.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  147. Adam

    It honestly couldn't be better news for the GOP that conservatives have woken up and realized Perry isn't the guy to get it done. Romney vs Obama is a no-doubter. Cain vs Obama is a no-doubter. Rick Perry vs Obama is a filled-with-doubter. lol

    October 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  148. PK California

    The Republicans will benefit...........in 2016. By then Christie will have lost a lot of weight; cleaned up the mess in NJ gotten more experience; and Obama will have cleaned up the country for him. He will be the front runner and get the GOP nomination!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  149. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    None of them benefit, Because none of them had a chance to beat Obama in the first place. That is how the republican side of the race has been rigged. Christie has benefitted from staying out of the race by not associating himself with this field of losers. He comes off looking like the only sane one.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  150. Vence

    I think, we the people benefits the most. One less GOP clown to deal with. Obama 2012!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  151. Ken in NC

    Republicans can pick any candidate they choose and it will be poison to the country and as long as their Big Business Owners line their pockets, they will sip of the cup of poison.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  152. sis43

    This is a sorry group, including to big tp lead.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  153. Mike, Calgary


    The United States benefits. We don't need anymore more amateur Republican candidates.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  154. SkyKing

    President Obama.
    3/8 of voters are 'minority' and don't have a problem with the President's ethnicity. They are growing in number.
    3/8 of voters are old whites like you and me. We are diminishing in number.
    Enough of the 2/8 in the middle are issue oriented and multicultural to the point that they immediately discount any Republican whose tactic and strategy has been to bash President Obama. Unfortunately, pretty much all but one have, and he's not on the radar screen now. So the Obama bashers, popular with the right wingers who vote in closed primaries, lose the general election in November.
    They forgot the Golden Rule.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  155. Adam

    You my as well go ahead and put up a painting of Marco Rubio in the White House. He's as close to a JFK type figure as the GOP could ever ask for. He will become President of the United States in either 2016 or 2020, depending on next years outcome.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  156. Arty

    The whole Republican race looks like a farce. He is in, she is out, they are thinking about it, etc.,etc., etc.,. I give Christie credit because this will allow him to run next time and the others will be losers

    October 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  157. ingyandbert

    Without a doubt, Romney. Perry has shot himself in the foot by showing himself to be on the wrong side of certain pet issues of those who hadn't yet realized he's a moron. Herman Cain has no real political experience (plus many Conservatives will never vote for a black candidate anyway). Ron Paul is background noise. Bachmann is certifiable. Newt is a dinosaur. Huntsman is invisible. Santorum suffers from "Rick Who?" syndrome. Sorry, GOP, looks like you're stuck with Mitt; better work on getting your fringe base over the Mormon thing.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  158. Adam

    People thinking Obama will get re elected don't keep up with the news much. That's as ignorant as Cleveland Browns fans spouting off about how they're going to make a run at the Super Bowl. Obama is toast. All the polls show it. Independants have run far, far away. The honeymoon is over. Prepare for the divorce.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  159. Joshua

    Obama benefits most.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  160. Steve, NY

    Picking the Republican pioson is much better than picking the current Democrat poison(s) we have.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm |