Television talk show host Joe Scarborough got into it Tuesday with co-host Mika Brzezinski over the amount of media coverage New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Bridge-gate scandal is drawing compared to coverage of recent scandals in the Obama administration
"Do you think the mainstream media handled Benghazi, and IRS, and these other issues, and asked the tough questions the same way they are about Chris Christie?" the conservative Scarborough asked his more liberal colleague on their popular MSNBC "Morning Joe" program.
"I know we did. I think we did," Brzezinski replied. "It was on the front page of the paper every day."
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The Republican governor has faced intense media scrutiny over the lane closures last September at the George Washington Bridge connecting New York and New Jersey, which allegedly were ordered by his own aides as political retribution for a mayor's refusal to endorse the governor's re-election. The closures caused massive traffic jams.
Christie has fired his deputy chief of staff in connection with what has become a growing controversy for his administration. On Friday, he was deluged with questions from reporters for nearly two-hours, but denied any knowledge of what his staff had reportedly done.
Scarborough said President Barack Obama has never been so forthright on any of the problems plaguing his administration. Specifically, he said the president "blamed other people" for the administration's handling of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, saying Obama did not admit fault or express any regret, as Christie did in his news conference.
"Did President Obama blame himself the way Chris Christie blamed himself?" Scarborough asked. "Did you ever hear him say, 'This is my administration. And, what happened was wrong. And, I am responsible for what happened. And, I am sorry'?"
Brezezinski countered that the president did apologize when it was called for and said "that is exactly what he did" on the troubled rollout of the Obamacare website.
Scarborough pressed further, however, asking, "What about Benghazi, the IRS, the NSA, the AP [records seizure]?"
Brzezinski said the IRS scandal, involving the targeting of conservative groups, was a "slower roll" because the White House was trying to "figure out what was going on."
"What ultimately was going on wasn't as egregious or motivated by hatred and machinated from above, as some would contend," she said.
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