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Joan Walsh: Forget 2016, Chris Christie may not even be governor much longer
Salon ^ | January 9, 2014 | Joan Walsh, editor-at-large

Posted on 01/11/2014 7:25:29 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie strode to the microphones in Trenton Wednesday night and took an hour of reporters’ tough questions about a plot by staffers to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor by snarling his city’s traffic for four days. Penitent, occasionally defiant, Christie insisted he didn’t know about the scheme. But he said he took full responsibility for the scandal, apologized to the citizens of Fort Lee and promised to get to the bottom of what happened.

Oh wait. That’s not what Christie did at all. The famously fearless governor canceled his one public appearance of the day, ignored the story until late afternoon, and then issued an email statement saying he’d been “misled” by “a member of my staff.” There’s word he’ll be talking today at 11 a.m. But yesterday, when all the details broke and questions emerged, there was no press conference. No public statement. No apology to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich or his city or the people of New Jersey for staffers using the crucial George Washington Bridge as a weapon of political destruction, reportedly in retaliation for Sokolich’s refusal to endorse Christie’s reelection bid against Barbara Buono last year.

In a statement so full of word salad it might have come from Sarah Palin, Christie threw an unnamed staff member under the bus – and then resumed his silence. He threw his own presidential hopes under the bus too.

Contrast Christie’s limp response on Wednesday to his shtick a month ago, when he aggressively denied that the Fort Lee lane closures were a form of political reprisal, and even joked that he did it himself. ”I worked the cones actually. Unbeknownst to everybody, I was actually the guy out there. I was in overalls and a hat, but I was the guy working the cones,” he said, mocking reporters, adding, “You’re not really serious with that question.” Then he blamed New Jersey Democrats for playing politics, sneering, “It just shows that they really have nothing to do.”

By now the world knows that it was the Christie administration playing politics. The email obtained by the Bergen Record reads like satiric Jersey political noir. “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Christie’s deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, wrote to David Wilstein, Christie’s high school buddy, who won a brand-new $150,000 a year Port Authority job that Christie created for him personally. “Got it,” Wildstein writes back.

That’s the smoking gun right there, but it’s the entire email chain that damns Christie’s administration. Once the media began investigating charges that Fort Lee’s lanes to the bridge had been mysteriously closed, snarling traffic for hours as school began in September (New Jersey officials claimed it was due to an important traffic study, which New York officials said they’d never heard of), the email round-robin includes Christie’s campaign manager and his communications director, as well as his other Port Authority appointee Bill Baroni, all doing damage control.

Kelly asks if Wilstein had returned any of Sokolich’s calls of concern, and he replies, “Radio silence. His name comes right after mayor Fulop,” a reference to Jersey City Democrat Steven Fulop, who likewise failed to endorse Christie last year. He derides him to Christie’s campaign manager as “the little Serbian” (Sokolich is Croatian). After Port Authority officials reopen the Fort Lee lanes, Wilstein tells Kelly that close Christie ally and chair of the commission that runs the Port Authority, David Samson, “is helping us to retaliate.”

Finally, when an unnamed official, referring to reports of kids being stuck for hours on school buses, says in a text message, “I feel badly about the kids. I guess.” Wildstein replies: “They are the children of Buono voters.”

Now we know it wasn’t just the children of Buono voters who were inconvenienced. Fort Lee officials say the traffic jam delayed at least four emergency vehicles, including one trying to reach a 91-year-old woman who later died. It slowed the response to reports of a missing 4-year-old girl, who was eventually found. New Jersey Democrats are livid, and even Republicans are calling for investigation.

Baroni and Wildstein have already resigned to spend more time with their lawyers. Until Wednesday, Christie had only said “mistakes were made,” while railing against reporters for impugning his integrity. His statement Wednesday added few details. In fact, it’s almost incoherent:

What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions.

It’s hard to square that meandering, Palinesque bleating with Christie’s reputation for candor. As he takes to the microphones belatedly Thursday morning, a few questions are obvious. Christie is a former prosecutor. Why was he so lazy in getting to the bottom of the story that he learned these details “for the first time today”? Are we really supposed to believe he didn’t know why Baroni or Wildstein resigned, beyond the fact that “mistakes were made”? And even if he didn’t know until Wednesday, which I personally find hard to believe, he apparently created or tolerated a culture of vengeance and bullying in Trenton that nobody could responsibly want to send to the White House.

I’m on record, almost a year ago, declaring that Christie would never be president, because of his temper, and his general temperament. My February post was inspired by Christie’s nasty outburst at a former White House doctor, a Republican who said she would like to see Christie become president, who also advised him to lose weight. “This is just another hack who wants five minutes on TV,” he fumed, adding, “She should shut up.”

There already was plenty of evidence that the governor liked to play the bully – and he was so proud of it, he had staffers alongside him to record his outbursts at reporters, teachers and insolent voters and post them on YouTube. His backers said it showed Christie isn’t a slick politician, he was one of us, a straight-talking guy who had a temper, sure. Now he looks like a tough-talking, prevaricating politician who has a temper, and uses the power of his office against his enemies.

I’ve said it before: Chris Christie will not be elected president in 2016. But if it turns out he knew about his staff’s vengeance against Fort Lee, let alone directed it, he may not be governor of New Jersey in 2016, either.


TOPICS: New Jersey; Issues; Parties
KEYWORDS: 2016; bridgegate; chrischristie; fortlee; joanwalsh; krispykreme; memebuilding; newjersey; partisanmediashill; partisanmediashills; randsconcerntrolls; salon; tpinos
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Comments?
1 posted on 01/11/2014 7:25:29 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Meh.


2 posted on 01/11/2014 7:26:51 AM PST by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Yeah, we need to circle the wagons around him so he can run alongside of Jeb, Ryan and any other RINO.

He's innocent, and even if he's not, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!!!!

:-)

3 posted on 01/11/2014 7:27:48 AM PST by Lakeshark (Mr Reid, tear down this law!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve barely heard it mentioned on the news this morning aside from a few comments that there doesn’t appear to be anything there.

Liberals will have to face that fact that Chunky C did the right thing and got past it unlike emperor Obozo who keeps promoting his horses.


4 posted on 01/11/2014 7:30:29 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Joan Walsh is a Liberal Idiot.


5 posted on 01/11/2014 7:30:43 AM PST by Old Retired Army Guy
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
In a statement so full of word salad it might have come from Sarah Palin,

Hey, Joan, what difference does it make?

6 posted on 01/11/2014 7:31:40 AM PST by gusopol3
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Liberals got hungry and ate one of their own again.


7 posted on 01/11/2014 7:31:55 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Lakeshark

As far as I’m concerned, I’m glad they didn’t wait until after his Media-Crowned GOP nomination. We don’t need him, Ryan or Bush the whatever.

It is time for the RNC, Media and Democrats to stop picking the GOP candidate in advance.


8 posted on 01/11/2014 7:31:59 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Liberals attacking liberals. I have no problem with it.


9 posted on 01/11/2014 7:32:15 AM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal the 16th Amendment)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No reason for that report to bring in Palin. Every chance they get to slam her they do. What had she to do with it?


10 posted on 01/11/2014 7:32:35 AM PST by SkyDancer ("How Can People Ask Forgiveness If They Won't Forgive Others?")
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To: cripplecreek

The Dems are salivating over this. They’re think they won’t have to answer for Obamacare now (nor BenghaziGate, IRSGate or FASTANDFURIOUSGATE etc.)


11 posted on 01/11/2014 7:32:53 AM PST by sr4402
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Here’s my take:

Christie was never going to be the GOP nominee, for reasons we all understand.

Joan Walsh, the LSM, the infotainment industry are SO TERRIFIED of a change of regime that they want to destroy any possible GOP winner before she gets started.


12 posted on 01/11/2014 7:33:40 AM PST by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: gusopol3

Using the phrase “word salad” is an Alinsky tactic, implying that the speaker is schizophrenic. But when an open liberal Democrat speaks in actual word salad, they’ll try to spin and explain that to everyone . . .


13 posted on 01/11/2014 7:33:46 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Old Retired Army Guy

“Joan Walsh is a Liberal Idiot.”

That is a given. This phony scandal is like a school of sharks in a feeding frenzy. Was Christie really going to run in 2016? Who says Christie may not even be governor much longer? Sounds like wishful thinking of the part of deranged liberals.


14 posted on 01/11/2014 7:35:33 AM PST by LottieDah (If only those who speak so eloquently on behalf of animals would do so on behalf of the unborn.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Run along, Chris. The jog will do you good.

Stay completely out of the way of such luminaries as Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. They’re candidates of substance other than that semi tire wrapped around your girth.

What we don’t need more of are typical politicians.


15 posted on 01/11/2014 7:35:47 AM PST by IbJensen (Liberals are like Slinkies, good for nothing, but you smile as you push them down the stairs.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I am not sure I understand the need to bring Sarah Palin
into the discussion. The writer’s comments about her were untrue and unwarranted. But they tell me that the left still fears Palin; not because she will be president but because of her ability to elect candidates, raise money, and rally the base as it has never been rallied before.


16 posted on 01/11/2014 7:36:15 AM PST by Maine Mariner
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To: Old Retired Army Guy

Joan Walsh lives in a fantasy world of her own creation. She thinks it, so it’s true.


17 posted on 01/11/2014 7:36:44 AM PST by ez (Muslims do not play well with others.)
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To: sr4402

Republicans to the rescue! Hear me out. 1) The head of the RNC takes the long walk(Goldwater-like) to tell him the bad news. 2) They offer him an out: Switch parties and become a Democrat-none of this Independent crap. Then the Rats can decide what to do with him because this is what they do.


18 posted on 01/11/2014 7:37:19 AM PST by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What difference does it make now — it’s all traffic over the bridge at this point.


19 posted on 01/11/2014 7:38:31 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

not now, not never been a Christie fan.

but first of all he just pulled it off(he admitted an apologized for his administrations errors...something the regime never did).

the question I put to the Marxist at Salon, is Never mind Kristi Kreme....Why is Obummer still in office after:

Benghazi

IRS investigations and audits

zer0Care

the birth certificate (and the death of Fuddy)

the surge and how Obummer treated it, alone, as a political thing.

I could go on ad nauseum.....but I am too nauseous to think of more right now.


20 posted on 01/11/2014 7:41:39 AM PST by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Olog-hai

Yup.


21 posted on 01/11/2014 7:43:26 AM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Gaffer

You don’t understand, the RINO’s have a strategy of dividing the conservative vote. We need to do the same in reverse. We need ALL the RINO’s to enter the race side by side and run to the bitter end. Ryan, Jeb, Christie, and any other RINO who can help split the so called moderate vote.


22 posted on 01/11/2014 7:46:24 AM PST by Lakeshark (Mr Reid, tear down this law!)
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Hey Crispy Cream, how’s it feeling just to get a mere taste of “Palinization”.


23 posted on 01/11/2014 7:47:47 AM PST by Kolath
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To: ez

That’s a liberal for you. Reality isn’t nearly as important as the fantasy.

A while back here in Michigan we had a GOP state rep pull some pretty unethical campaign crap. Basically he found a weak democrat and supported him in a race to save the seat for a stronger republican. The liberals screamed bloody murder demanding that he be charged with a crime but he did nothing illegal. The democrats do that crap in elections across the country every year.


24 posted on 01/11/2014 7:48:21 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

lol


25 posted on 01/11/2014 7:49:00 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
It’s hard to square that meandering, Palinesque bleating with Christie’s reputation for candor.

My word...Sarah Palin should charge these libtards rent...

26 posted on 01/11/2014 7:52:40 AM PST by Popman ("Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God" - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well, Christie certainly served his purpose didn’t he?

He took unemployment numbers, amnesty and the economy off the front pages and out of the headlines.

The libs also got to call him a “conservative” and throw him under the bus.

I’d say it’s a win for them, and a win for us as far as eliminating Christie from 2016 consideration.

NEXT!!


27 posted on 01/11/2014 7:53:41 AM PST by Bon of Babble (Don't want to brag...but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school!!)
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To: Lakeshark

I’ve heard about this ‘moderate vote’ stuff for far too long. The truth is Romney lost because Democrats cheated as they always do and disaffected [formerly] Republican voters just stayed home.

I also think that ‘moderate’ and the effects of a terribly bad economy, horrible foreign diplomatic situation, outright lies about employment statistics, taxes, and onerous ObamaCare rules are mutually exclusive now, too.

IOW, there are now those that can, and the millions and millions and millions of those that “can’t and won’t” do sh!t except collect a government check while sitting on their a$$. IMO, the LAST thing we need is a over-populated slate of GOP RINOs, backstabbers, wannabes and also-rans.

We have to stop places like Ethanol Subsidized IOWA and crazy individualist New Hampshire et al from determining our fate before we even get to Super Tuesday (e.g., here in Georgia where I can drop a dime on any remaining backstabbing RINOS).

Sorry, just ain’t buying that spiel.


28 posted on 01/11/2014 7:55:08 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
In a statement so full of word salad it might have come from Sarah Palin,

the PDS is strong with this one...

29 posted on 01/11/2014 7:56:43 AM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Love the line, “uses the power of his office to take revenge on his enemies”. Where I have I heard that before...Valerie Jarrett/Obummer?


30 posted on 01/11/2014 7:58:07 AM PST by kiltie65
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To: Gaffer
Yep, it's complicated, but you may be misunderstanding what I'm saying.

I don't want a moderate to win, I just want them ALL to run and split the vote so that Cruz can walk through and get the nomination.

It's how they've won for a long, long time, it's time for it to backfire on them.

31 posted on 01/11/2014 7:58:54 AM PST by Lakeshark (Mr Reid, tear down this law!)
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To: sr4402

I hope the political piranha eat him alive. there is a lot of food to go around there.

As for those other things you mentioned, they don’t have to answer for any of that and won’t answer for any of that, because we have allowed them to get away with it.


32 posted on 01/11/2014 8:07:53 AM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Joanie Walsh couldn’t muster much more than a “tsk-tsk” over
the Benghazi and IRS scandals. She is no doubt happy to finally
find something she can really sink her vampire teeth into. What
is that word women hate that starts with a ‘C’?


33 posted on 01/11/2014 8:09:18 AM PST by Sivad (NorCal red turf)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Here’s my theory - any publicity is good publicity. Christie in the first ten minutes of his press conference looked and sounded like a leader. No one except the nattering class watched the rest of the press conference but he was seen as willing to take all questions. So I think he came out of this looking stronger. As far as his politics, I don’t like some of them but if he’s the nominee I’ll vote for him to help get someone with an R after his name in the White House and if Hillary runs, to keep her out. So flame away.


34 posted on 01/11/2014 8:11:01 AM PST by Mercat
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To: Vaquero

I’m just not going to behave like a liberal. It doesn’t appear that Chunky C did anything wrong. Doesn’t mean I support him.

A couple years ago one of our democrats here in Michigan was accused of molesting a long lost cousin some 50 years ago. It was an evidence free rumor that popped up in the middle of a campaign. I spoke up in his defense but would have never voted for him because he was a liberal turd.


35 posted on 01/11/2014 8:11:45 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I think Joan has a Krispy fetish.


36 posted on 01/11/2014 8:17:31 AM PST by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs assist!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The only ones who kept hyping this bozo for President were the liberal media. Now they’ll move on to their next choice.


37 posted on 01/11/2014 8:17:31 AM PST by onedoug
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To: FReepers
Guess Where Christie Learned Political Payback

From His Friend, Obama

First President To Close National Parks
During a Partial Government Shutdown

Click The Pic To Donate

Support FR, Donate Monthly If You Can

38 posted on 01/11/2014 8:18:19 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Lakeshark

Somebody (not me) is going to join into the circling of wagons, but not for the greater good of the Republican Party. The Northeastern Republicans will mount the cavalry charge to provide relief for Christie, but for only one reason - so he may later on lose to Herself, Madame Benghazi, the Cold & Joyless.

Actually, it shall make little difference if Herself or Christie may succeed the Current Occupant now squatting in the Oval Orifice, the same old practice of “settled law” (i.e., propping up Obamacare, continued “amnesty” of future Democrat voters, total suppression of the right to keep and USE firearms, extending the reach and power of the IRS, snooping with the aid of government agencies by extralegal means, and unilateral retreat in world leadership) will continue, with scarcely a hiccup, with the same appointed people staying in power, or assured of immunity from prosecution should they leave office.

Better Christies’s potential run for the Presidential nomination be killed and laid to permanent rest, than to go through the farce we dealt with in 2011 and 2012, as Romney slashed up his opponents, then crumbled like a charlotte russe dessert in a crocodile’s mouth when he faced the Great Pretender.

Chris Christie is an imposing person, given to bluster and projecting a menacing aura. Add to that his physical presence, and he comes off like the schoolyard bully the rest of the kids are just afraid to confront. But in a pair-up with Herself, the same old dynamic comes into play, “Don’t hit the girl”, which makes the fight, if there is one, doubly frustrating.


39 posted on 01/11/2014 8:18:26 AM PST by alloysteel (Those who deny natural climate change are forever doomed to stupidity. AGW is a LIE.)
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To: Lakeshark

I also understand your line of thought and one might have agreed with that years ago. However, I am not so naïve to believe that the ‘decision’ won’t be made until everyone has had a chance to vote.

IMO, expanding the slate and confusing it with lying, duplicitous RINOs like Ryan (who has turned on a dime since his little foray into the VP-ship) only dilutes the true need to actually see and hear real conservative candidates early-on where they can make headway. No way in cowboy hell do I want a slate of RINO pukes running around Iowa lying as is their demonstrated habit.


40 posted on 01/11/2014 8:18:33 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Vaquero
I have no idea why Walsh believes Christie claiming no knowledge and throwing underlings under the bus disqualifies him for the presidency. After all, Obama does that all the time - and not only got elected, but re-elected.

So we know what is really going on here, the well-known (except to the left) double-standard of the media when it comes to Democrats versus Republicans.

41 posted on 01/11/2014 8:24:20 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
In my opinion, this tempest in a teapot is really a storm signal for any and all the Republican and especially Tea Party Conservative candidates in 2014 and 2016. The left and their media will do any and everything to destroy you. Any word or phrase that can be attacked will be. A slip of the tongue, a misspoken word, a misquote, anything and they will be on you like ugly on an ape.
This column is just an example. Please notice that not only did she attack Christie, she also got a lick in on Sarah Palin? That is how it works.
42 posted on 01/11/2014 8:26:04 AM PST by Tupelo (I am feeling more like Philip Nolan every day)
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To: Gaffer
No one makes a "decision" for these candidates, it's competing elites, the RINO's have just been smarter than we are in setting up the process. Yep, they try to annoint one, and lately they've won by doing so, but it won't always be so. Their "anointed one" still has to actually win the primary vote. Getting too many RINO's in to confuse the vote is just what we need to help win back the party.

If we don't take back the GOP from these people we will never win. A third party is simply going to get more and more rats elected, it's never going to help conservatives win, we have to look at how Reagan dragged the party to the right, he did it the correct way.

43 posted on 01/11/2014 8:26:41 AM PST by Lakeshark (Mr Reid, tear down this law!)
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To: Maine Mariner

After all these years, Sarah Palin still lives rent-free in their heads. She could be President if the cards are played right, and it scares the crap out of them. Little children go to bed afraid of a monster under the bed, the Regressives go to bed afraid of Sarah. They remember how the crowds react to her.


44 posted on 01/11/2014 8:35:31 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: chris37
we have allowed them to get away with it.

No I haven't. The Press is AWOL.

45 posted on 01/11/2014 8:35:35 AM PST by sr4402
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Ted Cruz’s odds just improved.


46 posted on 01/11/2014 8:38:03 AM PST by tbw2
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To: Olog-hai
Using the phrase “word salad” is an Alinsky tactic,

Is that the same as convicts tossing a salad? Just axing.

47 posted on 01/11/2014 8:38:55 AM PST by USS Alaska (If I could...I would.)
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To: alloysteel
I don't like Christie, I just want him to run as damaged goods against an entire slate of RINO's splitting the vote while Cruz walks in to the nomination.
48 posted on 01/11/2014 8:40:46 AM PST by Lakeshark (Mr Reid, tear down this law!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"It’s hard to square that meandering, Palinesque bleating with Christie’s reputation for candor."

While beating up on Christie they just can't miss the chance to throw a few punches our way.

Oh well, this is Salon after all so no surprise.

49 posted on 01/11/2014 8:42:40 AM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: Lakeshark

Agreed, the more RINOs out there goring each other the better.


50 posted on 01/11/2014 8:45:43 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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