Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain went to bat for embattled New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie this week, telling a local radio station that MSNBC’s “near hysteria” over the governor’s scandals proves “they view him as a real threat.”
McCain spoke with Phoenix radio host Mike Broomhead Tuesday night about the media’s coverage of Christie. The governor has come under near-continuous assault from the left-of-center cable network, after internal emails revealed his office’s involvement in a politically vindictive bridge closure last fall.
Although not yet directly implicated in the scheme, MSNBC has kept up a steady drumbeat against the governor, consistently leading their hourly broadcasts with “updates” and padding their programming with anti-Christie state officials.
Long an ally of the moderate Christie, the moderate senator noted that the media’s breathless scandal coverage only illustrates Christie’s political power.
“I’m not a conspiracist,” McCain began, “but I notice the zeal, fervor and hysteria — near hysteria — of MSNBC is greater than normal, against your normal conservative. And that is because they view him as a real threat to be president of the United States. And I don’t think there’s any doubt that with a popular governor in a Democratic state, pretty tough guy, good background, that they are trying to exploit this as much as they can.”
The senator also compared Christie’s conduct favorably to officials in the Obama administration — taking particular aim at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the governor’s possible rival in 2016. “If Chris Christie was guilty — as he was, as he said he was — of poor management, and fired people that were responsible — and some of those people he fired were very close to him, they weren’t just some obscure bureaucrats, what the hell is going on when our secretary of state is not held responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi?”
“Nor has anyone ever been held responsible for the deaths of four Americans,” he continued angrily. “Well, I would suggest that maybe, just maybe, some of us who have a little suspicion might think that there’s a real double standard. Chris Christie held people responsible who carried out what was obviously an abuse of power. Hillary Clinton has never taken responsibility, even though the intelligence committee, the Republican part of the report, named her specifically.”
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