CNN's Toobin: Benghazi Not a Scandal, But 'It's All Over for Chris Christie'

CNN's senior legal analyst doesn't think Benghazi is a scandal, but he is ready to dig Chris Christie's political grave over "Bridgegate."

On Wednesday's AC 360 Later, Jeff Toobin remarked, "It's all over for Chris Christie. This is it. I'm sorry, totally." He added of Christie's controversy, "I mean, this is devastating. Forget it."

And in touting the uniqueness of the scandal, Toobin is either shockingly naive or blind to many political scandals:

"Look, I have covered politics. You have covered politics. I think I'm as cynical as the next person. Shutting down lanes on a bridge to punish a mayor who didn't endorse you? I've never heard of anything like that before."

Perhaps Toobin is the latter. In just the past year, he has shown an amazing double standard for scandals. For instance:

Of Benghazi, Toobin said in November "there is nothing there, in terms of a scandal."

Last April, Toobin denied media bias was to blame for the blackout of the Gosnell abortion case. "I don't buy that at all," he insisted.

As the IRS scandal was breaking wide open last May, he scoffed at the notion that it was "earth-shaking" and called for "a little less hysteria."

Below is a transcript of the relevant segments:

CNN
AC 360 LATER
1/8/14
[10:05 p.m. EST]

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN senior legal analyst: One of the mistakes we make in politics, in covering politics, is we jump to conclusions and we say oh it's all over for Chris Christie. It's all over for Chris Christie. This is it. I'm sorry, totally.

(Crosstalk)

ANDERSON COOPER: Even if he didn't know about it? Even if he didn't have anything to do with it?

(Crosstalk)

TOOBIN: Done. Over. Absolutely.

COOPER: Really?

TOOBIN: Absolutely. You cannot -- this is not a complicated scandal. This is not something that it takes a law degree, it takes an accounting degree to understand. What is the explanation here? That my subordinates – by the way, we haven't heard the end of the factual investigation here. Let's hear Ms. Kelly under oath. He's obviously throwing her under the bus now. Let's hear what she has to say. Let's hear what Mr. Wildstein has to say. I mean, this is devastating. Forget it.

(...)

COOPER: On the flip side of this is, there are plenty of people who have said, look, this is politics. All these people do this, probably.

TOOBIN: You know what? No, they don't.

COOPER: You don't buy that?

TOOBIN: No, they don't. Look, I have covered politics. You have covered politics. I think I'm as cynical as the next person. Shutting down lanes on a bridge to punish a mayor who didn't endorse you? I've never heard of anything like that before. David, you've been around for –

(Crosstalk)

DAVID GERGEN: I thought it was bizarre. I just thought, what person, what sane person would do this?

TOOBIN: And now we know that they did it. The question is who authorized it.

(...)

GERGEN: Yes. I don't think it's out of question that it could force him out of office.

COOPER: Really?

TOOBIN: Absolutely.

GERGEN: I don't think it's out of the question. I don't think it's out of the question. I think it all depends on the facts. Until we know the facts, we don't know how serious it is.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014