Perhaps it is fitting for the favorite Republican of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” but a strange thing is happening as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie weathers the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal: The GOP governor is finding support from liberals, while being abandoned by conservatives.
“Obama set the tone for his staff and IRS,” conservative editor Erick Erickson — a frequent ally of conservatives under attack from the media — wrote on Twitter. “Christie did the same in New Jersey.”
As conservative radio host Steve Deace put it, “This may be the rare time conservatives cheer on MSNBC and other liberal media outlets as they down a (alleged) Republican.”
Meanwhile, David Axelrod, another “Morning Joe” favorite and longtime Democratic political adviser to President Barack Obama, said Thursday he thinks the New Jersey Republican governor will survive the scandal.
Christie’s governorship has been rocked this week with the revelation that his administration intentionally closed highway lanes in the city of a Democratic mayor who didn’t support his re-election last year.
“Christie handled about as well as he could,” David Axelrod, the former Obama aide and Democratic strategist, wrote on Twitter after Christie’s two-hour long press conference on Thursday. “Unless smoking gun turns up tying him to scheme, or others arise, he lives 2 fight another day.”
Buzzfeed reported Thursday that Democratic mayors in New Jersey who endorsed Christie’s re-election are also defending Christie.
“I still stand with Gov. Christie. You can hire people, you have good intentions and you think highly of these people, and people get fired every day,” Mayor Michael Blunt of Chesilhurst, N.J. told the outlet. “It’s not just Gov. Christie, any organization or business where you’re hiring people, people get fired because they do things they’re not supposed to do. So I believe him in what he said about what happened. I still support him.”
On Thursday, Christie held a press conference to say he is “embarrassed and humiliated” over the scandal. Emails and texts released this week suggest top officials in his administration may have intentionally closed the roads. Democrats accuse the administration of doing so to exact political retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for failing to endorse Christie.
Christie said he had no knowledge of the road closing and he has since fired Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly, who wrote in an email, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”