5 clips you missed: Sunday show round-up

GOPers jump to Christie's defense, Robert Gates defends his memoir, McCain condemns NSA "overreach"

Published January 12, 2014 8:31PM (EST)

Chris Christie              (AP/Mel Evans)
Chris Christie (AP/Mel Evans)

As surprise to none, Chris Christie and Bridgegate dominated this Sunday's political talk shows -- at least with occasional amusing effect.

Power Republicans rallied in force -- from RNC chair Reince Priebus, to Sen. John McCain, to Karl Rove -- appearing across networks to defend the embattled New Jersey Governor.

Priebus, appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press" went as far as to praise Christie for showing "leadership" by taking part in a two-hour, self-pitying press conference:


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Perhaps the strangest Christie apologia this Sunday came from Karl Rove. His defense tactic was to take wild tangents, mentioning other political firestorms, like Benghazi and the IRS, which reflected badly on Democrats but had entirely nothing to do with Christie's role in the bridge closure. "Contrast this with President Clinton and Secretary Clinton's handling of Benghazi. So I think it will be hard for Democrats to turn this into an issue." As the GOP strategist is well aware, though, when it comes to partisan politicking, pretty much anything can be turned into an issue. Via "Fox News Sunday":

Christie, thankfully, was not the only figure to garner talking head attention this week. Robert Gates' memoir -- and the timing of its release -- has rustled Beltway feathers from across the isles. Appearing on CBS' "Sunday Morning," the former defense secretary defended his harsh critiques of Congress and the Iraq War:Meanwhile, taking a slightly ad hominem tack on "Meet the Press," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, "I think one of the things you take away, at least in the excerpts of this book, is that Bob Gates doesn't like any questions about Bob Gates, whether they're from members of Congress, whether they're from civilians in the West Wing or in the National Security Agency":

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And finally, on a different note entirely, appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., argued for legislative reform and greater oversight to rein in NSA surveillance practices:

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

MORE FROM Natasha Lennard