Is Michael Kinsley sure he wants to go down this path?
In a Bloomberg View column and then in a clip run on "Good Morning America" today, the liberal pundit claims Chris Christie is "just too fat" to be president. According to Kinsley, Christie's weight is evidence of a lack of the self-control necessary to be an effective president.
If self-control is a key requirement for the presidency, I wonder how Kinsley would apply that standard to other recent occupants of the White House? GMA video after the jump.
National Review's Robert Costa has spoken to Chris Christie's father who claims the New Jersey governor is getting a lot of support from his family to run for president including himself.
In a brief segment on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" Friday, Costa told host Chuck Todd that Christie is back in Trenton and will be making a decision this weekend (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the media's obsession with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's weight has become totally absurd.
On Friday's "Morning Joe," during a discussion about obesity prompted by a pathetic column by the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson entitled "Christie's Hefty Burden," MSNBC's Al Sharpton joked, "So what I think we should do is put Governor Christie in jail for 90 days" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For the second day in a row, MSNBC's Martin Bashir made a statement involving New Jersey governor Chris Christie that should offend Americans on both sides of the aisle.
Discussing Republican presidential candidates with conservative author Pat Buchanan Thursday, Bashir asked, "Why do you think Mr. Christie is the great white hope?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's NBC "Today," co-host Savannah Guthrie asked a panel of guests about the possibility of New Jersey's governor entering the presidential race and observed: "There's kind of this conventional wisdom among the political chattering class that someone as heavy as Chris Christie-" Dr. Nancy Snyderman interjected: "As fat as he is." Guthrie continued: "...would not be elected." [Audio available here]
Fellow panelist, attorney Star Jones, chimed in: "You are so sweet the way you put that. You're really asking us will America elect a fat president?" Later in the discussion, advertising executive Donny Deutsch fretted: "If he's [Christie's] not disciplined enough to keep himself healthy, is he disciplined enough to make the tough decisions for our country?...if he's not in charge of himself, can he be in charge of country?"
On Wednesday's Early Show, CBS's Chris Wragge complimented GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain for his recent win in the Florida straw poll, but then wasted little time in throwing cold water on the future of his campaign. Wragge, along with co-anchor Erica Hill, asked why Cain would "stick with it," and wondered if the Republican could compete if Gov. Chris Christie entered the race.
The two anchors began the segment by heralding the former Godfather's Pizza CEO's "surprise over the weekend" and how he "shook up the GOP race on Saturday, winning the Florida straw poll with more votes than Rick Perry and Mitt Romney combined." Wragge then congratulated Cain and asked, "Someone like Sarah Palin says late last night that you're the flavor of the week. How do you respond to something like that?"
There are times when I am truly sickened by what I see from the current breed of television anchors and hosts. Today is one of them.
Martin Bashir on the MSNBC program bearing his name finished Wedneday's show with a segment attacking New Jersey governor Chris Christie concluding, "Go home, Mr. Christie. Your state needs you much more than America does" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Discussing the possibility of Chris Christie entering the presidential race on Wednesday's NBC "Today," Tom Brokaw praised the New Jersey Govenor as a moderate: "He's not an ideologue.... he played outside the ideological lines that have been drawn in the Republican primary."
Co-host Matt Lauer said of Christie, "...a lot of conservative Republicans, while loving the fact that he's a fiscal conservative, perhaps aren't going to like his stand on some other issues..." Brokaw saw that as a positive: "The question is, who's going to run the Republican primaries? Right now, the dialogue is being dominated by the Tea Party but there are a lot of other Republicans who say, 'We've got to play outside of the Tea Party playbook and this is a guy who can do that.'"
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is speaking tonight at the Reagan Library on the theme of American Exceptionalism, and despite repeated denials that he is running for president, many hopeful Republicans are hoping for a change of heart with tonight's speech.
Former New Jersey governor and close Christie adviser, Tom Kean, maintains that Christie is "very seriously" considering a presidential bid still, while others are denying his potential run. Do you think Christie will change his mind? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
On Monday's Early Show, CBS's Jim Axelrod pressed Gov. Mitch Daniels to anything derogatory about the Republican presidential field, leaving the Indiana politician little time to say anything about his new book. Axelrod also devoted a significant amount of time during the interview to the question of whether New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would get into the presidential race.
The substitute anchor led the segment with the issue of the recent Florida straw poll, which businessman Herman Cain won: "Cain didn't just win in Florida this weekend. He had more votes than both Governor Romney and Governor Perry combined. What does that tell you about the state of the Republican field?" After his guest gave an initial answer, Axelrod followed up by asking, "When you see what's happening with the inability for a single candidate to, sort of, get some traction, does it make you rethink your decision, at all, to get out of the race?"
Was it just coincidence that of all the ways "Good Morning America" could have reported that Republicans are urging Chris Christie to get into the presidential race, the ABC show today spoke--twice--of Christie being "heavily" urged to run? Throw in GMA describing Christie supporters opining that the other candidates are "too small" for the job. Oh, and the show's decision to roll extended, less-than-flattering footage of Christie walking across an airport tarmac to greet President Obama.
Makes you wonder whether this was the opening salvo of an ABC attack on Christie's avoirdupois. Of course, such cheap shots have a history of back-firing. Just ask ex-NJ Governor Jon Corzine. Video after the jump.
CBS's Bill Plante inserted the oft-repeated media spin about the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina into his report on Monday's Early Show. Plante ignored the poor handling of Katrina at the state and local levels, spotlighting instead how "the stranded and homeless wandered the streets of New Orleans" as Bush flew overhead. But three days earlier, CBS brought on former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as an "expert" on hurricane preparation without mentioning his failures.
Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor stated in his introduction for the correspondent's report that "Irene was not as bad as some thought it might be, but politicians were not taking any chances. They know what happens when government is ill-prepared for disaster." Plante began by spotlighting the Obama administration's response to Hurricane Irene:
Liberals who love public broadcasting are angry at Gov. Chris Christie for moving to fold the state’s public broadcaster, but let its operations be taken over by other public TV and radio entities in the area. Christie told interviewer Bob Hennelly on WNYC public radio that “state-owned operation of media ended with the Soviet Union,” even if that’s not really an end to public broadcasting in New Jersey:
BOB HENNELLY: You had a big win yesterday [Thursday]. But you did have one setback. The Assembly rejected your proposal to have WNET Channel 13 takeover the state's public broadcaster NJN. Critics of the deal say they are concerned WNET won't deliver the quality news product Michael Aron with NJN has been putting out. What's at stake with this deal?
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow slammed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "...his brand at this point is, 'I'm the guy who screams at my own constituents'....his brand is 'I will be rude.' And rudeness is actually what he's trying to sell as a form of political authenticity."
Co-host Ann Curry mentioned Christie criticizing President Obama for being too focused on popularity rather than policy and wondered: "Does the New Jersey Governor have a point that the President is making mistakes because he wants too much to be liked?" As Maddow launched into her rant against Christie, Curry interrupted: "But beyond argument and ad hominem, let's talk about, though, about Obama specifically. Do you think he's trying too hard to be liked?"
Something astonishing happened in New Jersey last week. A majority Democratic legislature and a Republican governor agreed on a measure that will cut benefits for the state's 750,000 employees and retirees.
Like Wisconsin and other states that are being forced to deal with large budget deficits caused mostly by sweetheart deals struck in more prosperous times between politicians who need votes and labor unions who deliver them, New Jersey couldn't afford to go on like this.
Susan Haigh's report Friday evening on the current status of budget negotiations between Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and the state's public-sector unions contains two glaring errors which mar the entire enterprise.
Haigh conveniently withheld the fact that the Nutmeg State's legislature has already approved $2.6 billion in new taxes over two years until her report's final paragraph, while giving voice in a much earlier paragraph to an absurd union demand that "big businesses and wealthy taxpayers would be asked to pay more if they agreed to givebacks." Uh, the taxes have already happened, guys. She also dramatically understated the objections of state residents to the over 75(!) new taxes which have been imposed.
Here are excerpts from Haigh's hijinks (bolds are mine):
I can't say that I'm up on what every state is doing, but it's hard not to notice contrasts between two trios of states singing decidedly different tunes:
Wisconsin, Ohio and New Jersey, three states with recently elected conservative Republican governors, have either put their budgets to bed, or are on the verge of doing so, by cutting costs and not raising taxes.
Connecticut, Minnesota, and California, three states with recently elected liberal governors who are Democrats, are on the verge of a shutdown, serious layoffs, or issuing IOUs. All three governors have enacted or want tax increases.
In an exclusive interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer played a clip of a woman attacking the Republican as hypocritical for sending his children to private school while cutting funding for public schools. Lauer agreed with her premise: "I thought it was a fair question."
Lauer sympathized with the woman and argued: "...what she was asking you was – she clearly sends her kids to public schools and she's saying, 'Governor, I understand you send your kids to private schools, but is it possible, though, then you don't understand how these cuts are going to affect families,' like her's on a daily basis. Why isn't it a fair question?"
It took well over a year, but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has gotten his way.
Covering the story for the New York Times, Richard Perez-Pena seemed to alternate between shock and "Awww." His biggest journalistic distortion was understating the degree to which Christie needed -- and got -- Democratic Party help to pass legislation which, in Pena's words, "will sharply increase what state and local workers must contribute for their health insurance and pensions, suspend cost-of-living increases to retirees pension checks, raise retirement ages and curb the unions’ contract bargaining rights."
The shock and "Awww" at the Times extends to the difference between the item's browser window title ("N.J. Legislature Moves to Cut Benefits for Public Workers") and the article title, which readers will see after the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Tamron Hall was so taken aback by Chris Christie's "none of your business" response to a voter's question about why he puts his kids in private school that she blurted the New Jersey Republican Governor reminded her of HBO's fictionalized mobster Tony Soprano. Right after playing a brief clip of Christie's "gruff" answer to the voter, Hall stooped to take a stereotypical cheap shot at New Jersey and its governor as she exclaimed: "I thought that was Tony Soprano!"
Although he admitted during the interview to being an admirer of Chris Christie "from afar," CNN's Piers Morgan put the heat on the New Jersey governor early and often during Tuesday night's hour-long interview. To begin the interview, Morgan pulled up a brutal critique of the governor by a political opponent.
Morgan quoted the Democratic president of the state senate who described Christie's political style thus: "Chris knocks you down – like with teachers – and he'll stomp on you, kick on you until he can kill you." When Christie laughed and labeled it "very dramatic, but not true," Morgan had the audacity to challenge him, "Not true?"
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had a tough day on "Meet the Press" Sunday.
So troubling was his performance that syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer told "Special Report's" Bret Baier Monday, "He’s done...This is a capital offense...It's over" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
CNN's Deborah Feyerick took the offensive Tuesday and emphasized the negative effects of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's cuts to education funding. Feyerick highlighted the plight of an illiterate kindergartner from a "high risk" neighborhood as an example of student who could be affected by budget cuts. The segment ran during the 8 a.m. EDT hour of Tuesday's "American Morning" on CNN.
CNN featured a young girl from a "high risk" school district, who needs a literacy tutor to ensure she can read at her classmates' level. CNN then aired Trenton Public School superintendent Raymond Broach's dour reaction to the $12 million cut from the district's budget last year. "You've just made that race for some learners almost next to impossible," he told CNN.
On Saturday, New York Times metro reporter Richard Perez-Pena treated as a serious breach of decorum a relatively mild metaphor New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie used in front of reporters in “This Time, Christie’s Tough Talk Draws a Wave of Criticism From Democrats.” The text box: “The governor uses violent imagery while talking to reporters about a state senator.” Yet the Times has almost completely ignored much harsher and explicit “violent imagery” used by Democratic politicians against Republicans.
Using harsh terms to attack his critics has been a regular feature of Gov. Chris Christie’s 15 months in office, and Democratic officials, wary of his and the voters’ wrath, have usually offered only a muted response.
But this week, when Mr. Christie, a Republican, used violent imagery in talking about a Democratic lawmaker -- a widowed grandmother, to boot -- Democrats saw an opening, criticizing him en masse and demanding an apology.
Somewhere the ghost of George Orwell cringes in recognition.
In her eagerness to please, Rachel Maddow occasionally collides headlong into immutable facts of economic reality. To wit, cutting taxes does not constitute new government spending, at least outside of doctrinaire Marxist analysis.
Here's MSNBC's Little Miss Sunshine giving her two-cents' worth on this Tuesday night (video below page break) --