Chris Christie is on what some are calling a rehabilitation tour. The combative Republican former governor of New Jersey is hawking his new book, “Republican Rescue” on all the major news networks, trying to position himself as an alternative to Donald Trump as he anoints himself the savior of the Republican Party.
Christie, who left office with a dismal 14 percent approval rating despite (or because of) having others in his way to distance himself from Bridgegate, somehow having escaped any legal ramifications over his management of Hurricane Sandy funds, and after trying to slough off Beachgate, for a short time tried to be less “Christie”-like. But that softer persona disappeared this week, especially late Tuesday afternoon when he stepped on the set of MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” and sat down with host Nicolle Wallace.
It did not go well for him.
Here’s basically how it ended, with Wallace – a former Republican – stringing him up using his own words, saying: “You may or may not support Donald Trump in 2024. You may or may not run for president. And [your] book about liars and conspiracy theorists doesn’t have anything to say about Fox News.”
.@NicolleDWallace to Chris Christie: “You may or may not support Donald Trump in 2024. You may or may not run for president. And a book about liars and conspiracy theorists doesn’t have anything to say about Fox News.” pic.twitter.com/YNGknXdVae
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 16, 2021
Here’s what led up to that dénouement:
“You know the book is called – it’s about conspiracies and lies and you really don’t take on Fox News, why not?” Wallace asks.
She pounds him further on Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Christie says he doesn’t watch the right wing cable giant’s top show and “I don’t pay a lot of attention” to him.
Moments later, Wallace again pound Christie, telling him, “I don’t think it’s an intellectually honest case to make against conspiracy theories without taking on Fox News.”
In typical Christie fashion he claps back, “Well, I, listen, then you can write that in your book.”
Not having it, Wallace retorts, “Well, I’m not trying to rescue the Republican Party.”
Seconds later, she presses him again on Fox News.
“I guess my question is you want to run for president, what’s your relationship with Fox News going to be?”
“Well first of all, I didn’t say I want to run for president. You said that. So let’s be clear about that,” Christie said, challenging Wallace.
“Well a lot of people have said that in the last few days – you haven’t corrected any of them,” she noted.
Wallace again goes back to Fox News.
“Do you think that Fox News in primetime is good for the country or bad?”
Christie basically refused to give a straight answer, knowing that if he wants to run for president he will need their support.
“Listen there are shows that I like in Fox News and shows that I don’t like.”
“You’re afraid to question the purveyors of conspiracy theories and lies?”
“But that’s your opinion,” Christie insisted, despite the fact that Fox News is a purveyor of conspiracy theories and lies. “You’re welcome to your opinion like everybody else in this country is welcome to your opinion. I don’t consider people like Sean Hannity, or Laura Ingram, purveyors.”
Heather Digby Parton, the highly-admired Salon writer who goes by the name Digby, shared her thoughts after the interview:
Nice to see Nicole Wallace push Chris Christie hard on his bullshit walking the line on right wing extremism.
He’s such a grotesque worm.
— digby (@digby56) November 16, 2021
Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali focused on Christie writhing away from Wallace’s questioning on domestic violent extremism (which does not appear in that clip.)
Chris Christie basically refuses to admit that white supremacist terror is the number one domestic terror threat in America right now on @DeadlineWH. Why is it so hard for Republicans to admit and confront this dangerous reality? You know the answer.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) November 16, 2021
Wallace had repeatedly asked Christie if he agreed with FBI Director Christopher Wray that domestic violent extremism is a top national security concern for America.
Christie’s response? “I don’t know” if Wray still thinks that.
“He testified about it in September,” Wallace replied.
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Fox News Host’s Inaccurate Reporting Leads to False Right-Wing Speculation Breyer Was Forced Out
Barely minutes before 12:00 noon on Wednesday NBC News’ Pete Williams broke the news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was going to announce he is retiring, at the end of the term.
Hours later Fox News host Shannon Bream breathlessly tweeted, “Multiple sources tell me Justice Breyer was not planning to announce his retirement today. They describe him as ‘upset’ with how this has played out. We still await any official notice from his office and/or the #SCOTUS public information office.”
That was 2:41 PM.
Her tweet was inaccurate – based on her own reporting, about a half-hour later.
At 3:14 PM Bream “clarified” her reporting, making clear that Justice Breyer “firmly decided” to retire on his own, and was merely “surprised” that a top-notch veteran Supreme Court reporter broke the news:
A bit more clarity. I’m told Justice Breyer had firmly decided on his own to retire and that an announcement was due very soon. And while it appears someone jumped the gun on that, better to characterize him as surprised by events today than “upset”.
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) January 26, 2022
Her first tweet has received thousands of retweets and likes and led to false speculation among many right-wingers (adding to the already false claims from the far right) that President Joe Biden forced Justice Breyer out the door – something impossible (unless you do over a billion dollars in business with a bank where the son of a Supreme Court Justice works.)
Too late, the damage is done. Ordinarily many reporters will delete tweets that are inaccurate or wrong, then post the reason why, and a correction. Bream did not.
Over at the right-wing National Review, senior writer Charles C. W. Cooke posted an article titled: “Did the Democratic Party Preempt Justice Breyer’s Announcement to Force His Hand?”
Its only content: Bream’s inaccurate tweet and the words, “It certainly seems possible.”
Here are more results of Bream’s inaccurate reporting:
Chief political correspondent, Washington Examiner and Fox News contributor Byron York:
A little nudge… https://t.co/RZIafIzftL
— Byron York (@ByronYork) January 26, 2022
Another Washington Times columnist and a SiriusXMPatriot personality:
I called it! Liberals pushed it to media to try to play cover for Biden’s absolute failures. https://t.co/lxx5E2bwxi
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) January 26, 2022
Former senior advisor to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC):
Psaki putting this out earlier is interesting – Breyer was NOT given the opportunity to decide how he was going to announce it because either her colleagues in the White House or her allies from the liberal dark money universe leaked it to force his hand.https://t.co/OShkwKC4di
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) January 26, 2022
Blogger at right wing website Hot Air:
guess: he gave the WH a heads up privately as a courtesy and they couldn’t resist leaking it to give their deeply demoralized base something to get excited about https://t.co/mwwnhDwINm
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) January 26, 2022
Radio talk show host:
The Biden Admin needed a narrative change and BAD. https://t.co/PNVa5lBU3y
— Annie Frey (@anniefreyshow) January 26, 2022
Watch: Trump Says He Will Be the ’47th President’ – Is He Skirting Federal Campaign Finance Law?
In video posted Wednesday to Instagram Donald Trump appears to say he will be the “47th President,” which would indicate once again he has decided to run again.
That video (below) was also reported by the New York Post, which notes, “Trump hasn’t publicly said if he is planning to run for the White House again — but he has repeatedly teased a second campaign and has been holding rallies ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.”
The right wing PJ Media adds, “this might have been the ultimate Freudian slip,” and says it suggests a re-election campaign.
Trump has not officially announced he will run for several reasons, as Rolling Stone explained last October:
Trump very much seems like he is running for president in 2024, which according to campaign finance law should prohibit him from coordinating with super PACs like MAGAA, or his leadership PAC Save America, which together brought in north of $80 million in the first half of this year. Trump is able to coordinate with those PACs, though — and use their money to finance his travel, his campaign-style rallies, his God knows what else — because he hasn’t yet officially declared his candidacy. The former president is then, in essence, running what appears to be a shadow campaign designed to skirt campaign finance regulations while holding the still-distant race for the Republican nomination hostage.
“As long as Trump doesn’t explicitly announce he’s running for president,” Rolling Stone added, “he can essentially raise as much money as he wants from whomever he wants, and spend it unfettered by the restrictions or transparency requirements imposed upon actual candidates.”
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Whoopi Goldberg Destroys Bill Maher’s Anti-Mask Rant: ‘How Dare You Be So Flippant?’
Whoopi Goldberg blasted HBO’s Bill Maher after the increasingly right-moving comedian declared he doesn’t want to live in pro-vaccine Americans’ “masked paranoid world” anymore.
On Monday’s “The View” Goldberg called Maher’s remarks “not really funny to people who have lost their kids” or “family members or dear friends to this,” she said, apparently meaning to COVID. (She obviously misspoke, saying the “vaccine.”)
Maher on his HBO show on Friday had said, “I don’t want to live in your paranoid world anymore, your masked paranoid world anymore, you know, you go out it’s silly now. You know you have your mask, you have to have a card, you have the booster, they scan your head like you’re a cashier and I’m a bunch of bananas. I’m not bananas you are.”
Goldberg continued, saying, “listen, nobody on the planet really wants to go through this, this is not something we’re doing because it’s, you know, sexually gratifying. This is what we’re doing to protect our families, and you don’t have to do it, but stay away from everybody. Because if you’re the one who’s not paying attention, and your confidence needs, you don’t want to then stay out of the public man. This is not, nobody wants this. I don’t want it. And I think he’s forgetting the people who are still at risk. who cannot get vaccinated. People who can’t get – little kids under the age of five. Yeah, well people with health conditions How dare you be so flippant, man?
The View’s Whoopi Goldberg goes off on Bill Maher for mocking COVID mitigation measures:
“That’s not really funny to people who’ve lost … family members or dear friends … This is not something we’re doing because it’s sexually gratifying.” pic.twitter.com/gxA3SQwNEC
— The Recount (@therecount) January 24, 2022
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