RUSH: The Wall Street Journal on their website has some videos with their reporters and experts examining Bridgegate and Governor Christie in New Jersey. And since this is the most talked about radio talk show in the country, I somehow ended up being discussed here. It was yesterday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal website live video blog. During the Opinion Journal portion, the host and editorial board member Mary Kissel, speaking with Political Diary editor Jason Riley about Governor Christie, and during a discussion about why some conservatives are not supporting Christie during the scandal, they had this little back-and-forth.
RILEY: Conservatives in general don't like him and haven't forgiven him for his super storm Sandy embrace of President Obama right before the 2012 election. They don't want him to be the front-runner, so they're pouncing now, too.
KISSEL: Yeah, but here's the thing, Jason. Chris Christie is the only guy that polls ahead of the Democratic front-runner --
KISSEL: -- who's Hillary Clinton.
KISSEL: So, when Rush Limbaugh and these guys go after Christie, why would they want to pull down the one guy who might have a chance to win?
RILEY: Well, a lot of conservatives think that the problem the GOP has been having in presidential elections is not nominating someone who's conservative enough. That a lot of Republican votes are being left at home, people aren't inspired by the candidate and so they're not coming out to vote. And they think a more pure conservative candidate with a more pure ideology is the way to go, and they think that Christie in that sense might be another Mitt Romney or another John McCain.
RUSH: Okay. Now, what you just heard, that is the discussion going on inside the Republican Party establishment. They don't understand it. They're angry that there is not blanket support for Governor Christie in the Republican Party. They're a little bit ticked off about that. They are convinced -- there are two polls, and the election is still two years away, two and a half years away -- but they are convinced because of two polls that Christie is the only Republican who can beat Hillary.
Now, the first thing, I'm not even persuaded, I'm not convinced yet that Hillary is going to be the nominee. But the thing that gets me here is that once again we're gonna go back to the same well, we're gonna go back, another Northeastern moderate Republican who has tried to make his bones on the basis of working with Democrats, cooperating with Democrats, crossing the aisle, cooperating, bipartisanship, working together with government to get things done. There's no track record of that being a winning formula for the Republicans.
I don't have anything against Christie. I need to ask you something, Snerdley, or any of you. "When Rush Limbaugh and these guys go after Christie, why would they want to pull down the one guy --" do I come off here in Bridgegate like I'm going after Christie? 'Cause I don't think I do. But how am I heard, that's what you need to tell me. All right. Snerdley says, "Look, all you had to do was call 'em a bunch of wildebeests and they think you are mocking Christie and his size, because they do not get the nuance."
Well, you know, that's a relevant point. But as I stated, I happened to watch a long time ago a bunch of these animal shows of animals eating other animals during the era of animal rights. I thought I'd learn about animal rights and I'd watch National Geographic and these other shows that show animals eating each other. I'll never forget the one on wildebeests. One wildebeest got in trouble and they all scrammed and ran away and the lions had their way with the one wildebeest. So I just used that as the analogy. It wasn't 'cause anybody looks like a wildebeest. I was simply describing standard, ordinary, everyday Republican operating behavior. They don't defend anybody.
By the way, I even made the point that they weren't defending Christie. It wasn't me. It wasn't just me. There wasn't anybody in the Republican establishment that was running out there. Every one of them had a caveat. Every one of them. "Well, that was a home run... if he's telling the truth." But we want to win, you know, and we know what wins, and we know what loses. Look, I don't need to relitigate this. Because everybody in this audience knows exactly, as well as I do, what we're up against here in beating Democrats. And we know the history. The average perfect Republican candidate is gonna lose every time.
The average perfect Republican candidate is a moderate, bipartisan Northeasterner who, as his number one qualification, he'll run around and brag about how well he can get along with Democrats, and then how important amnesty is and how we gotta be very careful in opposing Obamacare. And we find out that they're basically pretty much comfortable with Big Government, when they're running it. And we think that's the problem, no matter who's running it. And we think the solution to the problems we're in is getting rid of people who believe that government's the end-all to every problem. It's no more complicated than that. So there's that.
Now, let's stay on this, because this is last night, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Bruce Springsteen performed a parody of his big hit Born to Run that made fun of Christie and the bridge scandal. Do you know what else I saw? I saw Letterman, and they're making fun of Christie. See, this is the point. These guys all think they end up bulletproof. They come out and embrace Democrats like Obama and they walk the boardwalk with Obama.
They act all cooperative, and they don't criticize Obama, and they don't criticize the Democrats. They talk about "working together," because for some silly reason they think that's what voters want, and it never works. So what did they see last night? It was actually kind of funny, but I was thinking that it was making fun of Christie in a way that would be the old Alinsky thing: You pick the target and you mock them, you ridicule them.
It's hard to come back from that, and it was a split screen thing of somebody on the right side of the screen, and my memory is vague. On the left side Christie is giving a speech... (interruption) Okay, that's it. That's all he's doing is giving a speech. On the right side, somebody is eating. It's a split screen, and somebody's cutting into a steak on the right side, and the piece of steak goes flying into Christie's mouth as he's giving a speech. Of course, what are they doing?
They're mocking his size. They're making fun of him for being fat. I guarantee you that that was supposed to end by embracing Obama and supporting Obama and walking the boardwalk with Obama. That's the kind of stuff you're supposed to stop by being cooperative with the Democrats, and it never works. You can't admit yourself into that club. If you're not naturally in the liberal Democrat elites, you're not gonna be able to admit yourself.
There's nothing you can do to get into it. You can temporarily be accepted on guest privileges by ripping your own party, but you're never gonna be granted lifetime membership. Well, I mean, you could end up as David Gergen, but look at how long it took him. It took decades, and that's just one example. So, anyway, here's Springsteen.; See, now, Springsteen, this is one of Christie's idols. So here's Springsteen on NBC making fun of Christie.
SPRINGSTEEN: Governor, let me in. I wanna be your friend. There will be no partisan divisions. Let me wrap my legs round your mighty rims and relieve your stressful conditions. You've got Wall Street masters stuck cheek-to-cheek with blue-collar truckers -- and, man, I really gotta take a leak. But I can't I'm stuck in Governor Chris Christie's Fort Lee, New Jersey, traffic jam.
RUSH: Okay, so there's Springsteen reworking Born to Run. He needs to take a leak but he can't get to the rest stop, the Jim McGreevey Official Rest Stop, because he's stuck in Christie's Fort Lee traffic jam. Now, let's go back. Let's keep going back. Let's dial it back. Let's go back to November 5, 2012, in Keansburg, New Jersey. Christie held a news conference to talk about Hurricane Sandy recovery. During the press conference he said this about a phone call that he had with President Obama...
CHRISTIE 2012: The president told me if I had one more minute, there was someone else he wanted me to talk to. He was calling from Air Force One and he told me that in times of real difficulty, he thought the only thing better than one Jersey guy were two Jersey guys, and he put Bruce Springsteen on the phone. (edited cheers) Bruce said to me how proud he was of his state, how proud he was of the people in this state and how tough they are. We had a good conversation today and it was great to talk to the president -- and even better to talk to Bruce.
RUSH: Okay. Now, I want to keep... (interruption) It is sad. It is really sad. Keep this in context, now. This is November 5, 2012, and Obama is just playing this like a Stradivarius. He calls Christie, and he gets him on the phone and says, "You know what? The only thing better than one Jersey guy is two Jersey guys," and he puts Springsteen on, and Christie's telling this story, and how proud Springsteen is -- as though it's gonna help rebuild anybody's house, as though it's gonna clear away any of the debris.
The governor's talking to Bruce Springsteen and that's gonna fix everything, and, "Oh, what a great day!" It's one of Christie's proudest moments, and Obama got Springsteen on the phone from Air Force One. What ought to have been the reality, is, "Where was Springsteen when he made that comment?" He's on Air Force One with Obama. He's not in Trenton standing by Christie's side. He's on Air Force One with Obama, and Obama calls Christie, "Hey, I got a Jersey guy here, Bruce Springsteen," and they got Springsteen on the phone, and Christie went even further.
CHRISTIE: I went to the telethon that NBC ran. Bruce and I had an opportunity to chat for a while. We hugged. He told me it's official. We're friends. I told the president today, actually, that the hug was great and that when we got home, there was a lot of weeping because of the hug, and president asked why. I said, "Well, to be honest, I was the one doing the weeping."
RUSH: Okay, now, fine. It's a big deal to meet Springsteen. Springsteen hugged Christie, and Christie was so moved he started crying, biggest days in his life, how important. "Man, we're all coming together after Hurricane Sandy. Ah, this is orgasmic. We're coming together. Whoa, oh, man. We're gonna really gonna rock. I got Springsteen; I got Obama!" and now look. You got Springsteen on NBC making fun of Christie.
(interruption) Well, obviously, that's my point. These people on the left are mean, small, petty. This is the biggest thing, Christie admitted. It was one of the biggest things in his life to meet Springsteen in the aftermath of this hurricane. He thought it meant they were all working together with Obama, and now look. Now look at what they do to him, and what I don't understand is: Why they don't get this? That's what I don't understand. I'm sorry.
RUSH: There's no question that's painful. The nerve of Springsteen! Governor Christie has attended over 127 Springsteen concerts. Governor Christie loves this guy. It's 127 different concerts he's attended, and he's mocked, he's made fun of. He can't be a real fan because he's a Republican. You can only be a real fan and friend to somebody like Springsteen if you're a Democrat, and even then for only as long as they can use you. But if you are a Republican?
You are only a friend of a Democrat for as long as they can use you, and why this isn't seen by people is beyond me. I think Springsteen has to know, because Christie was public with it. Christie... In fact, not only did Christie have no compunction telling people this, he was proud to tell people that he talked to Springsteen! He cried because he had the chance to talk to Springsteen. Now, think about that however you wish, but the fact is, it was a big deal to Christie.
It's a big deal that Springsteen and he are both Jersey guys.
It was a big deal that Obama got Springsteen on the phone from Air Force One. Christie's thinking, "Man, this is great! We're all working together and we're gonna fix this problem. We're gonna fix New Jersey back up," and this thing comes, and Christie has publicly said he didn't have anything to do with it. He's apologized, he's done all the right things -- and here is the guy who brought him to tears by talking to him, making fun of him on a late-night comedy show. That is really...
You talk about a low-rent character?