Chris Christie update: Joe Scarborough's betrayal

Also: N.J.'s biggest paper revokes its endorsement and the mayor of Fort Lee changes his story

By Elias Isquith

Published February 10, 2014 4:55PM (EST)

Chris Christie                        (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Chris Christie (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

The start of the Winter Olympics has been roundly greeted with enthusiasm (at least by everyone who isn't actually in Sochi) but it's unlikely that many people were as happy to see the quadrennial event begin as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The games in Russia came at an especially good time for Christie, too: This past weekend saw yet more bad news for the embattled Republican.

Here's what you should know:

  • The New Jersey Star-Ledger, the Garden State's biggest newspaper, wrote a column apologizing for endorsing Christie's 2013 reelection bid. Penned by editorial page chief Tom Moran, the piece, while referring to the Christie endorsement, is unequivocal: "[W]e blew this one," Moran writes. The article goes on to describe Christie as a "creep," but warns that liberals shouldn't rejoice too much in the governor's fall, because his rivals for the GOP nomination in 2016 are even worse.
  • Christie's earlier claim that he had no idea who Mark Sokolich, the mayor of Fort Lee, even was is starting to look not quite right. A report from the Star-Ledger finds that in 2010, Christie had lunch with Sokolich and at least two other mayors at the governor's mansion in Princeton.
  • Sokolich, too, is starting to sound like a man who can't get his story straight. The Bergen Record reports that Sokolich is now saying he was courted by Christie's team for an endorsement, despite his earlier claims to the contrary. 
  • Remember that absurd attack on David Wildstein the Christie camp released a bit ago? The one that criticized Wildstein for his behavior while he was in high school? The Star-Ledger is now reporting (via Politico) that Christie didn't even see the memo until it had been "leaked" and gone public. So, once again, the question is whether Christie's mendacious or merely incompetent.
  • MSNBC's Steve Benen recently posted a useful recap of Christie's "evolving" story when it comes to his knowledge of the traffic jam in Fort Lee.
  • Meanwhile, Christie's best friend in the media, former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, is now urging the governor to resign as head of the Republican Governor's Association. Scarborough is no doubt reacting to the continuing pattern of nominal Christie allies staying far away from him when he shows up in their states to fundraise. Republican Bill Brady, a gubernatorial candidate in Illinois, has been the lone exception.
  • Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a likely 2016 presidential aspirant, takes a not-so-subtle dig at Christie, saying no one should feel like the government has been used to "bully" them.
  • A rally demanding Christie resign is being held on Tuesday by two anti-Christie groups. They've invited those who were stuck on the George Washington Bridge due to the traffic snarl engineered by Christie allies to join them.

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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