On yesterday's radio show Limbaugh weighed in on whether Christie was conservative enough. Not too surprisingly Limbaugh said he was not, comparing him to McCain.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: My friends, do not doubt me. I know this is going to shock many of you, and maybe disappoint a lot of you. But when you talk about the Republican establishment -- and you've read their pieces today -- you know what I'm talking about: The columnists, the magazine directors, editors, publishers, whatever, they are reaching and searching for a counter to the conservatives. They don't want Herman Cain getting the nomination; they don't want Perry getting the nomination; they don't want Bachmann getting the nomination. The Republican establishment does not want a conservative getting the nomination. If Chris Christie can come along, catch fire, see to it that Palin, Bachmann -- Palin not in, she might get in, who knows, doubt it, but still too soon to say -- if they can co-opt any conservative getting the nomination, they will do it.
Nothing's changed. "But, Rush, but, Rush, Christie's a big conservative." I will reserve my comments for later on in the program. I'll just give you one little hint. I heard a lot of John McCain in that speech. Well, maybe not a lot, but I heard enough to send up a red flag or two.
Later on Limbaugh said:
Herman Cain is a conservative that worries them. Rick Perry is a conservative that worries them. Bachmann is a conservative that worries them. Santorum is a conservative that worries them. Reagan was a conservative that worried the Republican establishment. Christie is not.
This small running battle between the GOP establishment ("the elites") and the hardliners who make up Limbaugh listeners and the Tea Party crowd will be the dynamic tension within that party for the next year.
(h/t to Real Clear Politics for the clip)