Paul Krugman: Chris Christie's top fundraiser is a billionaire Pope Francis bully!

Hanging out with a billionaire who recently threatened the pope probably isn't great image rehab for the governor

Published January 19, 2014 3:43PM (EST)

Paul Krugman                                                                                                                                                                     (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)
Paul Krugman (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)

In a Sunday blog over at the New York Times, Paul Krugman reveals that he had something of an "aha" moment while reading a Times report on what Chris Christie's biggest donors think the New Jersey governor should do to rehabilitate his badly bruised political reputation.

Among those quoted in the report is Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone, who the Times characterized as Christie's "most devoted fund-raiser and loudest cheerleader" and who said that Christie's politically motivated bridge closures were "beyond the pale" and "upset the hell" out of him.

One thing the Times report didn't mention? Langone's status as Pope Francis bully.

"Ah, yes — that Ken Langone, who recently tried to bully … the Pope," Krugman notes, before quoting heavily from a Talking Points Memo report on Langone's words of warning to Francis:

A major Republican donor, Langone told CNBC in a story published online Monday that wealthy people such as himself might stop giving to charity if the Pope continues to make statements criticizing capitalism and income inequality.

Langone said he was worried the Pope’s comments about an “exclusionary” “culture of prosperity” that may make some of the rich “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”

Pot, kettle, black, etc.

"Yep. Stop criticizing the rich or we’ll take it out on the poor," writes Krugman. "Nothing at all like punishing the residents of Fort Lee — and, apparently, in what may be a much worse story, Hoboken — because you’re annoyed at their mayor."

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bridgegate Chris Christie Christie Bridge Scandal Ken Langone Paul Krugman Pope Francis