New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s former deputy chief of staff for communications and the longest serving member of his senior staff, Maria Comella, told CNN on Tuesday that she will not only not be supporting Republican nominee Donald Trump, but that she will be casting her vote for Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
The embarrassing news for both Trump and Chris Christie, considering Christie has been a fervent supporter of Trump’s since he exited the GOP presidential primary, follows yesterday’s news that a former top adviser to Jeb Bush, another Republican woman, Sally Bradshaw, would be leaving the GOP because of the bloviating billionaire and reality TV actor.
“I’m voting for Hillary Clinton in November, and I’m voting for her because I don’t believe it’s enough to say you aren’t for Donald Trump,” Comella told CNN on Tuesday. “My mom and dad were Republicans, but they didn’t always vote Republican. There are times when principle trumps — no pun intended — party, and we have to be okay with acknowledging that,” she said.
In Trump, Maria Comella continued, “we have a nominee who would rather pick fights because he views it as positive news coverage. It may make him media savvy, but it doesn’t make him qualified or ready to be president.”
Christie’s undying loyalty to Trump obviously didn’t rub off on Maria Comella, a longtime member of Chris Christie’s inner circle, and a woman who, ironically, was a loyal supporter of another Trump supporter, former Tea Party darling, Sarah Palin.
Comella even wrote on a blog called the “Sarah Palin Truth Squad” in 2008 and 2009, defending her from attacks by the media and Democrats.
Also on Tuesday, Republican Congressman Richard Hanna of Trump’s home state of New York announced that he would also be crossing the aisle to vote for Hillary Clinton.
“I find Trump deeply flawed in endless ways…A man of character would not defend his actions but rather display shame or at least regret. He is unrepentant in all things,” Rep. Hanna wrote in an op-ed for Syracuse.com on Tuesday, referring to Trump’s ongoing fight with the Khans, a Gold Star family who lost their son fighting for America in the Iraq War.
WNYC reporter Matt Katz told CNN on Tuesday that Comella was “the most important person in the governor’s office — to Christie — until she left last year,” and that she was the co-campaign manager for Chris Christie’s presidential campaign. “She helped to shape his image, both nationally and in New Jersey,” he reported.
According to CNN’s Jamie Gangel, Comella did not inform Chris Christie of her decision to vote for Hillary Clinton.