New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart got into quite a heated debate about same sex marriage on MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday.
When Capehart aggressively tried to grill Christie, the Governor scolded, “I used to be a prosecutor. I don’t know if you did too, but I’m not going to be cross-examined by you this morning” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
The issue at hand was Christie’s recent veto of New Jersey’s same sex marriage bill with Capehart challenging the Governor’s contention that his view on this matter is the same as Barack Obama’s.
“The key difference between you and the President is while you support putting the civil rights of a minority up for a public referendum, the President is not in favor, is certainly not in favor of that,” said Capehart.
“Has he said that, Jonathan?” asked Christie. “I haven’t heard him say that.”
Not surprisingly, Capehart refused to answer leading Christie to observe, “The President is silent on this like he’s silent on every issue that’s difficult for him.”
Capehart replied, “The President and the Justice Department have made it clear that they believe that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act is un-Constitutional. They’re not supporting it in any of the court cases going through the federal court system.”
At this point, Capehart repeatedly asked, “Would you support that,” leading Christie to admonish him.
“I used to be a prosecutor. I don’t know if you did too, but I’m not going to be cross-examined by you this morning,” scolded Christie.
Capehart replied, “I’m having fun trying.”
“I know, you’re going to lose,” Christie smartly retorted.
“Let’s have the President of the United States show some courage, come on this program, look into the camera like I’m looking into the camera and state his position,” the Governor continued. “He won’t because he wants to have it both ways.”
“I’m not looking to have it both ways,” said Christie. “I vetoed the bill. That’s my position. What I’ve offered to the supporters of same sex marriage is if one of your reasons for why I should have signed it is because you’re telling me the majority of the people in New Jersey want it then prove it. Put it on the ballot and prove it. At least I’m standing up for what I believe in. The President has hidden on this issue, Jonathan, he’s hidden on it. He wants to have it both ways.”
Co-host Mika Brzezinski then asked Capehart, “Would you agree that he hasn’t been as vocal as he could have been on this, and why?”
“Has the President come right out and said, ‘I’m in favor of same sex marriage?’’ responded Capehart. “No. When he’s been asked the question three times now, he said he’s evolving on the issue.”
This elicited laughter from folks on the set leading Christie to marvelously reply, “His evolution will end after Election Day 2012 when he has no more political risk. This is the type of political cowardice that we don’t want.”
Moments later, Harold Ford Jr. weighed in saying, “I’m with Governor Christie on this. I think the President can’t have it both ways.”
Actually, with media shills like Capehart, he obviously can.
(H/T NewsBusters member cobokat)
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