There was a phrase, ‘the governor cuts against his core argument” on the issue of how to handle undocumented immigrants in the following sentence in Time magazine’s (Nov 23) article titled, “Christie’s leadership of GOP governors elevates and tests him.":
“Earlier this month, Christie dodged the question on Sunday shows. The reporter asked Christie to answer as a yes or no, to eliminate any confusion on immigration reform. When the reporter pointed out he didn’t answer the question or state his position on the issue, Christie replied, “Yeah, well, I don’t have to answer the question the way you want me to.”
This is quickly becoming a pattern for the Republican governor that cuts against his core argument to voters.” - http://swampland.time.com/2013/11/23/christies-leadership-of-gop-governors-elevates-and-tests-him
I surmise “cut against” in the above sentence means “contradict,” like it “cuts against the grains,” or go reverse. However neither Cambridge nor Oxford English Dictionary carries “cut against sth” as an idiom, while Google Ngram shows a long-standing usage of “cut against,” which can be dated back to 1840s.
Is ‘cut against’ an idiom, cliché, or just an incidental combination of ‘cut’ and preposition?
What would it be a single word (verb) to replace it?