Bill Maher on Tuesday made what people on both sides of the aisle will say is an extraordinary prediction coming from a Tea Party hater like him.
Appearing on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Maher said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) has a shot at becoming president in 2016 and will be very difficult to beat in the Republican primaries (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During an interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie marking the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer seized the opportunity to tout Christie slamming fellow Republicans over federal relief efforts: "You said, quote, 'There's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims, the House majority and their Speaker, John Boehner.' You said, 'They used the citizens of this country like pawns on a chess board, placed politics above the oaths to our citizens.' Some of the other terms, 'callous indifference,' 'selfishness,' 'duplicity.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer then used Christie's past criticism to scold the House GOP over the government shutdown: "You just made the rounds in Congress during the government shutdown. After a year, do you think that same group has learned lessons or is it the status quo?"
Striking the Northeast on Oct. 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy tragically devastated communities causing an estimated $50 billion in damages. By the end of January 2013, a relief bill was passed for Sandy aid, after the bill was delayed because of wasteful spending.
House Republicans opposed a pork-ridden $60 billion Senate bill ($10 billion higher than damage estimates) and chose not to vote on it. Politicians, including some Republicans, and the media criticized them for delaying this legislation. A $51 billion bill was passed by both houses of Congress by the end of January, after a $9.7 billion flood insurance bill passed in early January.
During the Friday episode of National Public Radio's Morning Edition, co-host Renee Montagne stated that the past several days had been “a charged week at the Capitol,” which led fellow co-host David Greene to declare: “Still, ObamaCare rolled out as planned.”
Millions of people have shopped for insurance on the new marketplaces called exchanges since opening day on Tuesday, they noted. Officials said it was evidence of high interest. However, others have criticized the fumbling start, which involved computer glitches and errors, saying the Affordable Care Act “was not ready for prime time.”
During Monday's debut of Keith Olbermann's new weeknight program on the ESPN2 sports channel -- unsurprisingly called Olbermann -- it took him only 48 seconds to stray from sports reporting into his former role as political commentator while slamming a reporter with the New York Daily News for “making up” a story on whether New York Jets coach Rex Ryan would be fired.
“Reporting is dead; long live making something out of nothing,” the leftist former host of programs on MSNBC and the Current TV channel declared. A few minutes earlier, Olbermann stated that New Jersey governor Chris Christie had “signed in” on the controversy, and even though the host had promised “the show wouldn't be about politics,” he broke his word because “I agree with the governor.”
While touting both Republican Chris Christie and Democrat Hillary Clinton as "the two hottest politicians," CNN's Jessica Yellin chipped away at the Republican's status by asking if he was a "bully." She said nothing negative about Clinton, on Tuesday evening's OutFront.
"Our sixth story OutFront: is Chris Christie a bully?" Yellin introduced the segment, centered on the New Jersey governor's in-your-face style with reporters and constituents. She only asked questions, but it echoed an NBC panel from a year ago which ran down Christie as a "bully" who wouldn't win over the rest of the country.
ABC was the only network on both Monday night and Tuesday morning to highlight New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signing a bill banning gay conversion treatment. On Tuesday's Good Morning America, ABC News political director Rick Klein touted, "The Chris Christie brand is all about independence, a non-partisan person who leads the state of New Jersey in the best way he knows how."
An ABC graphic added an editorial, placing quote marks around the word therapy: "Chris Christie and Gay Conversion: Bans 'Therapy,' Angers Conservatives." Regarding Christie's 2013 reelection bid and his potential 2016 presidential campaign, Klein understandingly noted, "Chris Christie understands something very important in politics. 2013 comes before 2016."
Former New York Times executive editor Howell Raines (sacked in the 2003 Jayson Blair debacle) provided a positive review Sunday of Washington Post political reporter Dan Balz’s 2012-campaign book “Collision.” Raines claimed Balz was “a fair-minded reporter” in the mold of the late David Broder.
You can’t say the same for Raines, who insists Mitt Romney is “excruciatingly delusional” in assessing what happened last year. Bill Clinton’s convention speech gets “deservedly heroic treatment” from Balz, but somehow, Raines saw Clint Eastwood’s erratic convention speech as a “Monty Python moment,” perhaps one of few times anyone’s ever tried to put Dirty Harry next to Eric Idle in the cultural realm:
George Will had some harsh words on Sunday for Governor Chris Christie’s (R –N.J.) condemnation of Libertarianism this week.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Will said, “If Mr. Christie thinks that's a dangerous thought, a number of people are going to say Mr. Christie himself may be dangerous” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
In one fell swoop, Howard Dean has managed to expose his ignorance of libertarianism while making a stale and insulting joke about New Jerseyites.
Discussing on today's Morning Joe the dust-up between Rand Paul and Chris Christie and the broader issue of the philosophical rifts within the GOP, Dean declared that "Rand Paul is not a libertarian" because he is pro-life. Dean is apparently unaware of the lively debate over abortion within libertarian circles, with a reported 30% of libertarians being pro-life. Dean also warned Paul: "do not take on a guy from Jersey. Obviously this guy does not watch HBO." That was presumably an allusion to The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, two HBO shows featuring Garden State criminals. View the video after the jump.
Earlier this afternoon, my NewsBusters colleague Kyle Drennen highlighted the Today show’s effort to hype the recent feud between Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Unsurprisingly, the folks at MSNBC were even more eager to blow the dispute out of proportion – and to predict a nasty fight between Republicans in 2016.
Now host Alex Wagner kicked off a gleeful Wednesday segment on the feud, claiming the “2016 Republican clown car has already started revving its engines.” Wagner also suggested the “spat” would expose “deep divisions within the GOP,” echoing similar remarks made by NBC’s Peter Alexander on Wednesday’s Today.
After a tease of upcoming coverage of the Anthony Weiner sex scandal, on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer tried to make the news of political controversy bipartisan: "Republicans are facing a few issues of their own, highlighted by a war of words between Chris Christie and Rand Paul." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the report, fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie announced a "heated feud" between the two Republicans, followed by correspondent Peter Alexander proclaiming: "A Republican family feud growing nastier by the sound bite." As the headline on screen declared a "war of words," Alexander asserted: "The fight has exposed deep divisions within the party on national security and federal spending."
Commenting on the current clash between Rand Paul and Chris Christie over pork-barrel spending, Joe Scarborough has managed to insult both combatants.
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough called Rand Paul a "daddy's boy." And in warning Paul not to pick a fight with Christie, Scarborough cited a saying to the effect that you should never fight with a "pig," because "you both get dirty and the pig likes it." Scarborough was careful to suggest that in comparing Christie to a "pig" he wasn't alluding to the Jersey governor's girth. OK. View the video after the jump.
Appearing as a guest on Saturday's The Ed Show on MSNBC, actor George Takei omitted "under God" as he started quoting from the Pledge of Allegiance during a segment in which the gay rights activist and former Star Trek cast member reacted to the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Referring to the one-third of Americans who live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, Takei proclaimed:
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took some shots at Barack Obama Tuesday.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Christie said the President’s charm offensive on Congress "should have started in January of 2009…it’s a little bit late in the dating game to start to get to know somebody.”
ABC on Saturday fawned over the growing "bromance" between Bill Clinton and Chris Christie, hyping the relationship as like "Clooney and Pitt" and, oddly, "Han Solo and Chewbacca." Good Morning America reporter Reena Ninan touted the New Jersey Governor's appearance last week at the Clinton Global Initiative, enthusing, "There was Clooney and Pitt. Han Solo and Chewbacca." (Ninan didn't explain who is Chewbacca in this example.)
ABC clearly seemed pleased at Christie's relationship with the Democratic politician. A graphic touted, "Clinton & Christie's 'Bromance." Ninan repeatedly gushed, "It's a bromance...But a political bromance?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
During the Wednesday edition of his show Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who once called former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin “profoundly stupid,” appeared not to know that there are two current U.S. senators who are of African descent.
“We don’t have any African Americans in the United States Senate, which I think is a disgrace,” Matthews said before being corrected by a producer and one of his guests. Before his mistake was fixed, Matthews also disclosed that he, as a resident of Maryland, voted for Republican Michael Steele when he ran for Senate in 2006 because he was black.
Following the death of New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg on Monday, Tuesday's NBC Today immediately began speculating on his replacement and the potential fallout for Chris Christie, with co-host Matt Lauer announcing it to be a "dilemma" and "political hot potato" for the Republican governor. The headline on screen read: "Lautenberg Seat Poses Political Problem." [Watch the video after the jump]
Lauer proclaimed: "I think the New York Times summed it up pretty well...Normally a governor would love to have this opportunity...but there's a lot of personal political risk for Chris Christie." Political director Chuck Todd agreed: "There is...any time you introduce a new factor into all of this, is always unsettling. Chris Christie is on the verge of getting a whole bunch of bipartisan support, Democrats crossing the aisle...So this is now actually a lot trickier than it should be."
As CBS and NBC both touted President Obama's Tuesday visit to New Jersey, so too did CNN hype Obama's "bromance" with Governor Chris Christie as the President tried to step away from Washington and his administration's scandals.
White House correspondent Jessica Yellin said it would be a "good chance" for Obama to trumpet the effectiveness of his government as FEMA's performance after Hurricane Sandy was a "bright spot" for Obama. Although a positive CNN headline read "'odd couple' puts politics aside," correspondents admitted that political gain was a part of the visit for both men.
In an interview with Chris Christie on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer grilled the New Jersey Governor on his skepticism that man-made climate change caused Superstorm Sandy: "You said you don't think there's been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change. Several experts I've heard from say the destruction, though, from Sandy, was probably more severe because of elements of climate change, including rising sea levels." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer began to ask: "Are you not willing to say that's from-" Christie cut him off: "No, I'm not....this is their business, they study it, and they say, 'probably,' 'maybe.' All I said was, I haven't been shown any definitive proof yet that that's what caused it. And this is just – listen, this is distraction. I've got a place to rebuild here and people want to talk to me about esoteric theories."
Covering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's secret weight loss surgery, Good Morning America's Paula Faris couldn't help but make fat jokes. The reporter on Wednesday began her segment by wryly asserting, "Chris Christie is wasting no time devouring his critics." She continued, "The no-holds-barred New Jersey Governor known for his healthy appetite...sounded off" at reporters. [See video below. MP3 audio below.]
Faris found clips of liberal comedians mocking the Republican governor. She included one of David Letterman joking, "Bring it, fat boy!" In another snippet, Jimmy Fallon sneered, "Christie hopes to visit the site of the Last Supper. You know, see if there's any leftovers." This isn't the first time the ABC morning show has joined in on fat jokes about Christie.
Campaign 2016 has already started, and the New York Times weighed in on the presidential hopefuls in three stories Tuesday. So far, it's a hail for Hillary, a ho-hum greeting for Joe Biden, and hostility toward Republican governors Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal. David Halbfinger's Tuesday front-page story was loaded with hostility toward New Jersey's governor: "Brash Christie Plays Rutgers Circumspectly."
It does not take much for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to uncork his temper. He has called a Navy combat veteran an “idiot,” suggested reporters “take the bat” to a lawmaker in her 70s, and gone taunt-to-taunt with detractors on the boardwalk and in countless town hall meetings.
It's a safe bet that most conservative Republicans would rush to support a political leader with the following record, especially in a traditionally Democratic state:
-- Reversed a $2.2 billion deficit and brought it into balance without raising taxes, largely by reduced spending and eliminating wasteful and unaffordable programs, allowing for a projected fiscal 2014 budget surplus of $300 million.
Reacting to Chris Christie not being invited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer melodramatically announced: "...another battle for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today. But this time, he's at odds with the right wing of his own party." The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "Cold Shoulder for Christie; NJ Governor Snubbed By Conservative Conference." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that follow, correspondent Andrea Mitchell eagerly touted Christie's willingness to buck the GOP: "The latest sign that Chris Christie won't kowtow to Republican hardliners, his annual budget speech Tuesday, signing on to ObamaCare..." After describing the "very public snub" from CPAC, Mitchell declared: "...some Republicans see a bigger problem, the party's refusal to broaden its base." A sound bite followed of former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson hyperventilating: "If the Republican future does not include a place for people like Chris Christie, the Republican Party doesn't have a future."
In what has become a recurring theme on MSNBC, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough railed against the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for failing to invite Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J) to the event. On the February 26 edition of the program the self-described “true conservative” Scarborough slammed CPAC as not being about winning elections, but instead being an echo-chamber that focuses on “hate” and “anger.”
The segment began with liberal co-host Brzezinski expressing shock over the line-up of speakers at CPAC, including Sen.Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, prompting Scarborough to throw out that, “It shows just how sick some elements of the conservative movement are.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Mika Brzezinski immediately asked her producer if the seven-second delay had worked. It hadn't. On today's Morning Joe, praising the "authenticity" of the New Jersey governor, an unbleeped Mort Zuckerman said there's "no bull****" about Chris Christie.
Joe Scarborough sought to slough off the incident, saying no seven-second delay was necessary: "you got a lot of farmers saying that in western Pennsylvania. That's no big deal." Mika begrudgingly mouthed agreement but her tone and body language left no doubt that she was uncomfortable with Mort's excursion into the scatalogical. View the video after the jump. H/t NB reader Cobokat.
Giving advice is easy; accepting it, not so much. One day after Chris Christie downed a doughnut and joked that he's “the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life” on Monday night's edition of “The Late Show With David Letterman,” a medical expert on presidential health said the New Jersey governor's weight is no laughing matter.
"I'm worried he may have a heart attack. I'm worried he may have a stroke," former White House physician Connie Mariano said in an interview with Jim Acosta, CNN's national political correspondent regarding the GOP "heavyweight."