Chris Christie Campaign Spent Over $1400 on an Uber Ride, Averages Over $200 Per Trip

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders barely use Uber. Hillary has fleets of limos paid for by Goldman Sachs isn’t going to offend entrenched urban interests. Sanders walks (30 miles, backwards, in the snow).

Symbolism matters to insiders. Many years ago I learned that if I wanted Democratic legislators to turn up at an event in California, the event couldn’t be held at a non-union hotel. The members simply wouldn’t take the risk.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s campaign is among the least frequent users of Uber. That’s probably because they think Uber is so expensive: their average Uber trip cost $215.38. Someone on his campaign spend nearly $1500 on a single Uber trip on December 11.

The Uber driver was probably just stuck in traffic on the George Washington Bridge. (Instant Rimshot)

Governor Christie fought to keep $1 million in travel expenses on his state American Express secret.

Christie’s campaign could cut travel expenses by using Uber more. Chris Christie, meet UberX and UberPool.

Although in fairness I’d be willing to spend a lot to get out of Atlantic City (or Jersey City, for that matter).

Here are the Uber trips taken by the campaigns using the service most often:

Trump just flies which Virgin America’s CEO really likes.

Thanks to Uber Business Profiles Rubio must have figured out how to separate personal and business trips, something he wasn’t good at as a Florida legislator.

I’m pretty sure campaigns that aren’t using Uber aren’t just using taxis instead.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary – is “Hillary has fleets of limos paid for by Goldman Sachs” a statement of fact? You’ve crossed it out, so I am not sure if it is true or just a joke. Or did you cross it out because it wasn’t relevant?

    This is not a flame, but if it’s false or innuendo or just an attempt to link her speaking fees to her use of transport, it might be wise to remove it.

  2. Anyone spending $1,000 on UBER is misusing UBER. The purpose of UBER is to serve as an alternative to conventional meter taxi’s and more expensive black cars. It’s not meant fo out of town and cross country trip.

    I have used Uber all over the world, From London to Boston and New York. On average I have found them to be less expensive and an overall better value then their alternatives.

    If this is how the Christie people are managing their campaign funds then they really shouldn’t be allowed nar the national budget.

  3. Gary,
    Great stuff and the line about Sanders gave me a good laugh. Don’t listen to the children that carefully scan every post in an effort to find evidence of offense or libel. I want you to write what you want to write and I suppose that most of your readers are adults that can decide FOR THEMSELVES the merit of your words.

  4. @Joe: That was sarcasm based on the fact that Clinton gave a couple of (very highly) paid speeches at Goldman Sachs events. As I’m sure Gary would tell you, the candidate whose campaign expenses are literally paid for by Goldman Sachs is Ted Cruz.

  5. If these are tax dollars being spent for his security then I think NJ taxpayers have every right to know how Christie is spending their money. I also think the details matter. If Christie is staying at a Fairfield Inn that is one thing. If he is electing to stay at the Ritz or most expensive Park Hyatt in the area then people are entitled to know how he is wasting money. Then again my opinion is that taxpayers shouldn’t be paying a dime for governors when they are out campaigning. That isn’t being done to help their state and isn’t their official duty. Their campaign should pick up the tab for travel unrelated to their official duties.

  6. @Bill are you saying that frauds like Christie & Kasich should not be able to tell the citizen’s of their states that, “I’m going to ignore your needs and take the next year to look for a better job. In the meantime, please continue to pay me and provide me the benefits that I need to complete my job search….in style. Oh, and when I am polling at >1% in my new job search I’ll continue my unsuccessful search as long as possible because it’s much more fun than actually governing (doing the job I was elected to do) and then finally, when I have to quit my new job search, I’ll come back to the state like nothing ever happened. How does that sound?”

    I’m going to try that line with my employer and see how it goes. I’m sure they’ll be fine with my request.

  7. @Joe it was a joke given the narrative throughout last weeks’ Democratic debate. In context, juxtaposed with the obviously farcical comment about Bernie Sanders walking backwards uphill in the snow I thought that would be clear. 😉

  8. What @LarryInNYC refers to is that Ted Cruz’s wife works for Goldman, and that he took out a loan from Goldman against his account holdings there to finance his Senate campaign.

  9. Written by a Koch brothers representative. Hence the barb against unions. *sigh* (It isn’t symbolism; it is honoring the beliefs of the Democratic platform. It’s called honoring one’s word.)

    The Hillary Clinton joke falls flat because she really doesn’t get a choice of preferred transportation due Secret Service protocals. She gets lifetime protection, so no…she doesn’t ride Uber. She doesn’t get that choice.

    Those “fleet of limos” are paid for by the U.S. government and ultimately the taxpayer. Not Goldman Sachs. So if you are questioning her loyalty by using a travel metaphor, than it would be to the American public and not Wall Street. You get a B- on effort for that one.

    Perfacts you should have included that fact of information instead of using smear tactics.

    I find it interesting that you mention the campaign of Christie (and the campaigns of others), yet imply Clinton and Sanders themselves directly. Misinformation spreading, ugh!

    None of this is funny. Not the “jokes” or the mocking of Christie or Rubio. Leave the humor to Team Coco, ok? Conan is the master of sarcasm (truly awesome!).

    If you want to write about politics and your stance, go for it!! I enjoy learning about the “other side.” How else will the country survive without discussing and debating opposing ideas?? But to try to cage your thoughts in a misinformed, poorly written travel joke? Badly done, Gary. Badly done!

  10. Are you really still reading this blog, icicle? The name you comment under makes it clear why you don’t find things funny, even though other commenters above you did (as do I).

    Your faux-pretentiousness doesn’t mask that you don’t seem to understand what Gary has written here. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Sanders campaign use Uber less than the Republican campaigns. That’s true, according to FEC data, not misinformation.

    Smearing Gary (and that’s what it is ‘invoking Koch’ rather than making an argument) doesn’t hold water when he’s been critical not just of Chris Christie and Marco Rubio but also Donald Trump and Scott Walker. And in the comments above he explained the Cruz-Goldman Sachs connection.

    Just because YOU don’t find something funny doesn’t mean it isn’t funny. It does mean, since I’ve only ever seen nasty comments from you, that you probably would be happier if you didn’t read this blog (or if you crawled back under a rock).

  11. Gary, I also laughed out loud at the Bernie comment. My father used to walk to school every day in the snow. It wasn’t backwards, but it was certainly uphill both ways.

  12. None of these numbers seem very high to me. I run a small company and we have spent 50-100 dollars on courriers to get same day turn around on things. Once we had visitors and I sprung for a 200 dollar uber SUV trip so we could all ride together. One time we had a product hit at a trade show so I spent 1000 dollars to have extra fliers made overnight.

    All these people are running national campaigns, mostly in in places they have never been before. Their expenses are going to be at the sports team or fortune 1000 company level. You can’t compare to personal expenses.

  13. @tarantula

    Oh, I understood perfectly. Gary’s post implied that Hillary and Sanders themselves used uber. He did not say chosed by their campaigns; “campaign”, a term that was used after the other candidates’ names.

    And implying that a specific candidate that has lifelong Secret Service protection can use Uber is misinformation. Please re-read the post; you don’t seem to understand the nuances of connotations used by Gary. Oh, I do get them though!

    If Gary had just written “Hillary Clinton’s CAMPAIGN…Bernie’s CAMPAIGN” – well, I wouldn’t have responded at all.

    Why neglect that one word for the Democratic candidates and not those of the Republican party? It was a deliberate choice, now wasn’t it? And a thought LEADER would know the difference, eh?

    I find things in life quite humorous; situations, TBBT, true snark. The last thing that I found amusing was a documentary on PBS that I watched today on pigeons. Thank you for being concerned, though, about my wellbeing!

    *claps hands* Oooooh, I should crawl under a rock, eh? Well you told me off good! LOLOLOL.

    I was wrong. THAT comment was the last thing that amused me today. Turns out I DO have quite the sense of humor.

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