(WBEN/AP) Republican Carl Paladino says the stories about Chris Christie's abuse of power have killed his presidential dreams.
Paladino, the Buffalo school board member and former candidate for Governor of New York State has been on the Fox Business Network occasionally as a conservative analyst, and weighed in last night on Christie's troubles before a national audience.
"This man has a persona problem. He lives two lives," Paladino said of Christie in a Monday evening appearance on the Fox Business program "Cavuto"
" He lives that public image that he wants everybody to love him, he wants to show all this concern and sensitivity, and behind the scenes we see him as a bully, as a political opportunist," Paladino said, adding that the New Jersey Governor was partly done in by his populist and unorthodox politics.
"He took on the establishment and this is the way the establishment comes back, they out you in a sense. He's become radioactive. Nobody's going to get near him now."
Paladino said Christie's possible presidential candidacy is finished, and instead championed Tea Party favorites Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Christie (pictured below L) has never been embraced by conservatives. He was not invited to last year's Conservative Poltiical Action Committee (CPAC) meetings in March , and was jeered when his name was read last year during a straw poll there that was ultimately won by Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
The Republican governor has built a national following as a blunt-talking and often funny politician who strived to show that he could find common ground with Democrats on some key issues, including overhauling the state's public-worker pension program and making it easier to fire teachers who are found to be underperforming.
Since revelations this month that a staffer ordered two of three approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge from the town of Fort Lee shut down for four days in September apparently as political retribution against the mayor there, perhaps for not endorsing Christie for re-election.
The U.S. Attorney's Office and two state legislative committees are now investigating.
Christie has apologized, denied any involvement with or knowledge of the plot and fired a deputy chief of staff at the center of the controversy. But questions have continued.
Christie's administration also faces an allegation from the Democratic mayor of Hoboken that it tied the delivery of Superstorm Sandy aid to the low-lying city of 50,000 across from Manhattan to support for a prime real estate project.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer said that she was told by Guadagno that the ultimatum came directly from Christie. Guadagno strongly denied those claims Monday and described them as "false" and "illogical."
"Any suggestion that Sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in New Jersey is completely false," she said.