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Chris Christie 2016: What 5 Leading Pundits Say About GOP President Hopeful

By    |   Monday, 29 December 2014 09:28 PM

Leading pundits George Will, Bill O’Reilly, Chris Matthews, Jon Stewart and Dick Morris have varying perspectives on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is rumored to be seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for president.

Conservative columnist Will wrote in October in the Washington Post that Christie’s strength against likely Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton “might be the variable that explains the most presidential elections: likability.”

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In deciding whether to nominate Christie, Republicans must ask what brick he can remove from the “Blue Wall,” which consists of 18 states and the District of Columbia, which has a total of 242 electoral votes and has voted Democratic in at least six consecutive presidential elections, Will wrote.

He added that Americans at times elect presidents who conspicuously lack a defect of the previous president, noting that John F. Kennedy’s youth contrasted with Dwight D. Eisenhower’s age.

“Christie, who exudes executive authority, is the antithesis of today’s bewildered incumbent floundering from the disappearing ‘red line’ regarding Syria to the HealthCare.gov debacle to the Veterans Affairs scandals to the no-one-tells-me-anything surprise about the Islamic State to the Secret Service that cannot lock the White House’s front door,” Will wrote.

O’Reilly, conservative host of ‘The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, said late last year he thought Christie could win the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, according to Politico.

“Christie’s a good politician in the sense that he’s a populist. He’s lived, he knows how to handle himself," according to Politico. "The Republican Party needs to win, so, you know, sure there are going to be right-wing people who don’t vote for him, but I think if you are a Republican that you’re going to have to field somebody to beat Hillary Clinton, and certainly Chris Christie can give Hillary Clinton a run.”

O’Reilly said he thought Christie’s biggest weakness was his impatience, which could hurt him in the national spotlight.

O’Reilly made that statement before national media attention came to focus on Christie regarding a scandal over the morning rush hour closing for five days the preceding September of two of the three traffic lanes from Fort Lee, N.J., to the George Washington Bridge and New York City, according to the Star-Ledger. In what became known as “Bridgegate,” questions were raised as to whether the closings were politically motivated.

Urgent: Who Should the GOP Nominate in 2016? Vote Here Now

Liberal pundit Matthews, host of the talk show “Hardball With Chris Matthews” on MSNBC, called Christie “the new Nixon” in wake of the scandal on eight consecutive episodes, according to Newsbusters.

Matthews said on Jan. 15, 2013, “Well, this is not yet a Watergate, but the more we learn about Chris Christie, the more he does look like Richard Nixon.”

The Huffington Post reported that John Stewart, host of the Daily Show on Comedy Central, poked fun at Christie after a subsequent internal review conducted by a law firm Christie commissioned cleared him of any role in the scandal and heaped much of the blame on a former aide.

"I wonder! What the results will be of the investigation that Chris Christie himself commissioned," Stewart said.

Stewart had voiced praise for Christie in 2012 after Christie worked with President Barack Obama to bring aid to New Jersey in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, according to NBC News. 

“It’s amazing how once you remove political partisanship and gamesmanship, performance improves dramatically!” Stewart said.

Conservative pundit Dick Morris praised how Christie handled Superstorm Sandy to Newsmax last January. Morris indicated that if the bridge scandal were to sink Christie’s bid for the presidency, the moderate wing of the GOP would not have a candidate in the 2016 presidential race.

He also raised questions to Newsmax about how well Christie dealt with the scandal by essentially blaming it on his aides, then firing them.

A nine-month investigation into the bridge scandal found “no conclusive evidence” that Christie “was or was not aware” of the lane closures in advance or while they were happening,” the Wall Street Journal reported this month. 

Vote Now: Which Potential GOP Candidate Would You Support in 2016?

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Leading pundits George Will, Bill O’Reilly, Chris Matthews, Jon Stewart and Dick Morris have varying perspectives on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is rumored to be seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for president.
chris christie, 2016, president
Monday, 29 December 2014 09:28 PM
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