NBC's Lauer Presses Chris Christie: Isn't Obama Class Warfare Really About 'Unfairness'?
In an effort to once again run defense for Barack Obama, NBC's Today co-host Matt Lauer on Wednesday pushed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to agree that the President's sustained effort to pit economic classes against one another is just a matter of fairness: "Talk to me about that word 'envy.' Because I asked Governor Romney about this last week as well....why is it envy as opposed to unfairness?"
As Lauer mentioned, he did ask Mitt Romney an almost identical question on the January 11 broadcast: "Do you suggest that anyone who questions the policies and practices of Wall Street and financial institutions, anyone who has questions about the distribution of wealth and power in this country is envious? Is it about jealousy or is it about fairness?"
On Wednesday, Christie defended use of the word "envy": "Well this is what the President is setting up. What he's trying to say is the American pie is finite. If you don't like the size of the piece you have, only government can take more pie away from somebody else and give you a little bit and government keeps the rest."
Lauer went so far as to try to put words in Christie's mouth: "So if people raise questions about Wall Street and financial institutions and their practices and the division of power and money in this country, you do not think it's about envy, you think it's about fairness?"
Later, talking to Christie about compromise in governing, Lauer seemed surprised by the suggestion Obama has not compromised: "You don't think President Obama has tried to compromise?" Christie replied: "Listen, I don't think the President has shown the type of leadership....that's the tough part of leadership. Giving speeches in the Oval Office is the easy part."
Read the complete transcript of the January 18 interview.