Republican strategist Karl Rove asserted on Sunday that New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie's (R) handling of the George Washington Bridge Scandal showed he had the right qualities to be president of the United States.
During a panel segment on Fox News Sunday, host John Roberts pointed out that many Republicans were praising Christie for firing one of his top aides after a newspaper exposed his administration's role in closing part of the busiest bridge in the world as part of political retribution plot, but President Barack Obama had not fired anyone over the health care reform law.
"I think he did himself a lot of good," Rove said of Christie's reaction to the scandal. "I think he did himself some good by contrasting with the normal, routine way of handing these things, which is to be evasive, to sort of trim on the edges."
"You'll notice we haven't been hearing a lot from the Clinton camp about this," he added. "Contrast both with Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton's handling of Benghazi."
Later in the segment, Roberts asked the panel: "Where was this media coverage on Benghazi, the NSA or the IRS?"
Columnist George Will admitted that "this was not a phony scandal" because Christie's administration had used the machinery of government to "screw our enemies."
"There are reasons why conservatives had disagreements with Chris Christie, I don't think that the tea party is going to seize upon Fort Lee and the George Washington Bridge as their defining difference with Christie," Rove opined. "In fact, I think his handling of this, being straightforward, taking action -- saying, 'I'm responsible' -- firing the people probably gives him some street cred with some tea party Republicans, who say that's what we want in a leader, somebody who steps up and takes responsibility."
The Washington Post's Bob Woodward noted that the media needed to uncover the mindset of Christie's staff because the decision to close the bridge "came out of that office."
"So did Benghazi, and so did IRS... come out of appointees of President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton!" Rove shot back. "The amount of attention paid this week to Chris Christie makes the coverage of Benghazi at the same time and the coverage of the IRS pale in significance."