New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has long been the toast of the mainstream media, who liked to describe him as a straight-shooter not afraid to make tough decisions. The scandal that Christie finds himself ensnared in–his aide and his buddy at the Port Authority ordered the closing of a bridge that caused a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee–has hardly changed the mainstream media’s treatment of him. Christie’s political friends also continue to stick up for him.
Here’s 6 examples showing how the media, and other politicians, can’t fall out of love with Christie, a star in the Republican Party who is likely to run for president in 2016.
1. Rudy Giuliani: It Was a Prank
The basic contours of the bridge scandal in New Jersey are by now well-known. Christie’s deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelley, along with David Wildstein, a high-school friend of the governor’s who was appointed to Port Authority, closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge which caused traffic jams in Fort Lee, New Jersey. They took those actions to punish Fort Lee’s Mayor, Mark Sokolich, who did not endorse Christie’s re-election bid.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, though, sees the whole scandal as a harmless joke. Speaking on CNN last Thursday, Giuliani described the scandal as a “stupid political prank that backfired.”
“Politically stupid things, political pranks that turn bad, all that other stuff [happens in] every administration,” Giuliani added. Unmentioned by Giuliani is that the “prank” slowed emergency response teams and caused children to be late to school.
2. Mika Brzezinski: Christie Responded Better Than Obama
The MSNBC pundit is a good friend of Christie’s, and she defended him after the governor’s marathon press conference. She favorably compared Christie’s response to the scandal to President Obama’s response to the alleged IRS scandal.
“Obama said he didn’t know about it, but he didn’t do what Chris Christie did. Which was [to] say, ‘But I’m responsible, and I don’t know what I did in my office, and I’ve got to do a lot of soul-searching to figure out why people felt they could do this,’” said Brzezinski.
3. Joe Scarborough: Let’s Look At Obama
Scarborough joined his colleague Brzezinski in apologizing for Christie.
The “Morning Joe” host said that “if we are going to be critical of Chris Christie, we have to be critical of a culture in Washington D.C. where Barack Obama has allowed one scandal after another to break and then say, oh, I didn’t know anything about it.”
4. Karl Rove: What about Benghazi?
It’s a favored right-wing talking point that the media failed to do its job investigating the September 11th attack in Benghazi last year. Karl Rove faithfully brought up Benghazi–and the IRS–in his discussion of Christie.
“The amount of attention paid to Chris Christie makes the coverage of Benghazi at the same time and the coverage of the IRS pale in comparison,” Rove said on Fox News Sunday.
5. Reince Priebus: What about Benghazi and IRS scandals?
The chairman of the Republican National Committee defended Christie using the same tactics as Rove.
Speaking on NBC on Sunday, Priebus said that it’s likely that no direct link will be found between Christie and the ordering of the lane closures. Then he brought up Benghazi and the IRS.
“He stood there for 111 minutes, in an open dialogue with the press. Now only if Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would give us 111 seconds of that, would we find out some things we want to find out about Obamacare, Benghazi, the IRS,” he said.
6. Jake Tappe: Christie Could Restore Faith In Elected Leaders
CNN’s Jake Tapper had a novel way to boost Christie when he appeared on television before Christie’s press conference. He thought that Christie could restore some of America’s faith in their leaders.
“There’s an opportunity for Christie to seize the bull by the horns and actually do this thing right with full apologies, full explanations,” said Tapper.
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