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“Dipping His Toes Into Ugly Waters”: Christie; Americans Have A President ‘Who We Don’t Know’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) delivered a widely noticed speech in September 2011, condemning President Obama in a fairly specific way. “We continue to wait and hope that our president will finally stop being a bystander in the Oval Office,” the governor said. “We hope that he will shake off the paralysis that has made it impossible for him to take on the really big things.”

Even at the time, the rhetoric was bizarre, since Obama has spent his entire presidency taking on “really big things,” and more often than not, succeeding. But this week, Christie revised his entire perspective on the president, complaining Obama acts “as if he is a king, as if he is a dictator.”

I’ve long been amazed at the degree to which conservatives have contradictory complaints about the president, and this is emblematic of the pattern. Obama can be a hapless bystander, doing too little, or he can be a tyrannical dictator, doing too much, but he can’t be both.

On Monday, Christie went a little further. The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe noted this gem from the scandal-plagued governor:

“We have a guy in the Oval Office who we don’t know. He’s been serving us for seven years and we don’t know him.”

I suppose the obvious question for Christie is, “What do you mean ‘we’?” After all of these years, some of us have gotten to know and understand this president quite well. After a two-year national campaign in 2007 and 2008, an autobiography, and seven years of intense scrutiny in the White House in which his every move was analyzed from every direction, it’s hard to imagine the public knowing a stranger better than we know Barack Obama. There is no mystery about who this “guy” is.

But that’s probably not where the governor is going with this.

The New Republic’s Jeet Heer noted the other day that Christie isn’t being literal, so much as he’s “pandering to GOP mythology.”

[Christie’s comments] partially echo long-held Republican complaints that Obama hasn’t been properly vetted. But they also play into the large set of tropes about Obama being alien, mysterious, un-American. As is his wont, Donald Trump proclaimed these themes more loudly when he suggested that Obama might have an ulterior motive (cough, cough, secret Muslim) for the deal he negotiated with Iran. “It’s almost like there has to be something else going on,” Trump said in a speech on Saturday night.

Like many of the other Republican candidates, Christie is trying to play the role of the thinking man’s Trump, and making a fool of himself in the process.

Agreed. When Christie tells Republican audience Americans don’t “know” the president, he’s dipping his toes into ugly waters. The governor must know better, and it’s a shame he appears to see this as necessary for his presidential ambitions.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, January 8, 2016

January 9, 2016 - Posted by | Chris Christie, Donald Trump, GOP Presidential Candidates | , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. So, Christie doesn’t know who he “hugged” when President Obama came
    to deliver help after Hurricane Sandy! I do believe this is a sign of “dementia”!!

    Like

    Comment by lrfalstad | January 9, 2016 | Reply

  2. Dear Gov. Christie, let me introduce you to Barack Obama. He was that guy you bragged on for helping your state after Hurricane Sandy. He is the guy who has overseen 71 consecutive months of job growth and the two most successful years of job growth since the 1990s. Plus, this is the 5th longest period of economic growth in our history, soon to be 4th. He is the guy who has made sure 16 million Americans have health coverage and set-up the very successful Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He is also the guy who is listening to Americans on background checks. Maybe you guys should talk more. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Keith | January 9, 2016 | Reply

    • This would be a good letter of introduction for Christie. Seems he has a very short memory. A letter of Introduction for Christie From New Jersey voters to the people of Iowa would read like this. “He has been our Governor since 2010. He will be leaving office soon. We will be satisfied”.

      Like

      Comment by raemd95 | January 9, 2016 | Reply

      • His best chance to run was 2012. He needs to do well in New Hampshire. Ironically, the TPers have not forgiven him for thanking Obama for help with Sandy.

        Like

        Comment by Keith | January 9, 2016


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