By Darryl Isherwood
October 27, 2013

Former Gov. Christie Todd Whitman has long preached for a more moderate version of Republicanism on the national level and this week said the current conservative wing of the party cannot win the presidency.

Who can? Gov. Chris Christie, that’s who.

“Oh, he’s going to run,” Whitman earlier this week told the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Christie, the former Republican governor said, has proven that a Republican can be successful by appealing to more than just the party base.

“He’s a leader; he’s taken on the big issues. You can object to his style, perhaps,” , but he’s shown how Republicans can win nationally, she told the paper, though she declined to say if she would endorse Christie should he take the plunge.

Whitman, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush, was in Michigan for a talk at Western Michigan University.

She said she doesn’t understand the extreme right of the party and its opposition to environmental regulation.

“I don’t understand Republicans who are so against the environment,” Whitman said. “It’s mind-boggling to me that they don’t understand the importance” of the environment she said.

The once rising star among the GOP said the “no compromise” policy among both parties in Washington D.C. is fostering growth among the moderate, unaffiliated voters who are rebelling against both party’s fundamentalist attitudes.

“Don’t these people know their history?” she said. “They talk so much about the Constitution, but Jefferson and Adams didn’t always agree. They reached consensus, and there’s no crime in that.”

“I don’t think I’m part of the party anymore,” she admitted. “I’m part of the Abraham Lincoln, Eisenhower wing.”