January 12, 2014

Behold the power of Republican propaganda spinners. For months, all we've heard from them is how terrible it is -- how utterly awful -- that the IRS would do their jobs and how the Benghazi tragedy was really a huge failure on the part of Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and every Democrat, living and dead.

But if you're stuck in a traffic jam created as political payback to a mayor who won't fall into lockstep, well, it's just because Chris Christie was in campaign mode.

Rudy Guiliani has been the most forthright of the bunch with this, but it also came from Reince Preibus on Meet the Press this morning.

It's hilarious to me that they now have to downplay their manufactured outrage over the IRS and Benghazi in order to protect Chris Christie.

I can't wait until someone leaks the latest Luntz memo.

Transcript, via ABC News:

RADDATZ: I want to go back to September. Four days, thousands of Ft. Lee residents are stuck on that bridge. Chris Christie is the chief executive of that state. I can't imagine you as New York mayor not saying what the heck is going on over there, forget that traffic study. And yet Chris Christie didn't do that.

GIULIANI: You know, Martha, that's always kind of simplistic after some like this happens, you know, how could it happen, how could you not have known? How did President Obama not know about the IRS targeting right wing groups? You know, massive numbers of right wing groups...

RADDATZ: But this is traffic, this affects everybody. This seems very different.

GIULIANI: Well, that affects a lot of people. And the reality is, things go wrong in an administration. And frankly, you know, he was in campaign-mode at the time, during campaign-mode you miss a lot of things. You're not paying as much attention. We see that with Benghazi.

I'll give you plenty of examples. Every administration, every president, every mayor, every governor, something goes wrong below them and then the press ask, gosh, how do they not know? How did they not realize?

The reality is, he says he didn't realize. He says he didn't know. I think it's pretty darn credible. He wouldn't make this blanket denial unless it's not true.

RADDATZ: But -- Mr. Mayor, we're talking about two different things. You're talking about him saying he didn't know there was any scandal involved in this. He had to know there was all that traffic.

GIULIANI: Well, yeah, I'm saying, you miss things. I mean, things happen in an administration, things happen when you're running for re-election. After the fact, it seems like how didn't they know?

But the reality is you miss a lot of things when you're running a government that's as complicated as New Jersey, New York or the United States.

This has happened to many presidents, many governors, many mayors. It's happened to the present president at three or four times where he said I didn't know. And then the press says, gosh, how could he not have known?

RADDATZ: Well, let's talk about the culture of that office. Obviously he's dismissed his aid Bridget Anne Kelly, Bill Stepien. But what about the culture of that office? What does that say about Chris Christie that they could do something like that?

GIULIANI: But this is what happens in political operations. I mean, people get wrong messages. It happens all the time. It happened, again, I go back to the IRS scandal. The people in the IRS though President Obama wanted them to do this. President Obama didn't want them to do this. But they got the sense because of that culture that they were supposed to target right wing groups. It was totally wrong.

I think it was totally wrong for these people to have interpreted Chris Christie this way.

But, look, he's handled it the best way you can possibly handle it. He's held a press conference, he's flatly denied it. If for some reason it's not true, the man has put his political career completely at risk. If it turns out that there's some evidence that he knew about it, he's taken the complete risk that his political career is over.

I don't think he would do that if there's any suggestion he knew about this.

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