George Will: MSNBC Helping Chris Christie

Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 08:18 PM

By Greg Richter

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Far from hurting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, MSNBC's unending barrage of criticism actually is helping him by making him look like a victim, says conservative commentator George Will.

"MSNBC has, at most, a one-track mind, and it has been just obsessed with him, and my enemy’s enemy is my friend so a lot of people there were warming up to him," Will said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Special Report."

Liberal columnist Juan Williams, sitting on the panel with Will, agreed, saying some view Christie as a "victim of a Democratic mass-media, mainstream media attack" over the Bridge-gate scandal that has dogged him the past two months.

Though Christie's poll numbers as a 2016 GOP presidential hopeful dropped dramatically after the scandal broke in early January, he received a standing ovation  Thursday at the annual CPAC meeting in Washington, D.C.

Will also addressed talk that the GOP is undergoing deep divisions between the tea party right and the more centrist establishment.

"If there's a civil war in the Republican Party, it's an awfully civil civil war," Will said, citing the warm welcome Christie received at CPAC.

"Heterodoxy [non-conformist beliefs] has broken out all over the place in the conservative movement," he said.

Will noted that CPAC drew 11,000 people this year, many of them young.

"It's perfectly possible to go there, be happy and be in favor of same-sex marriage," he said.

Panelist Tucker Carlson didn't entirely agree, noting the differences withing the party over how to handle the Ukraine crisis. Such differences are likely to bubble up "with some violence," Carlson said, when they meet in a presidential campaign.

"Can those two groups co-exist in a party? Maybe they can, but, boy, that's an awful big tent," Carlson said.

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