Meet The Press' Chuck Todd asked Gov. Chris Christie some tough questions about his governing and economic record in New Jersey, but what got Christie's undies in a bunch was his confrontation with the talk show host on the Bridgegate scandal and the recent resignation of CEO Jeff Smisek because of it.
The CEO and chairman of United Airlines, Jeff Smisek, resigned on Tuesday after the "bridgegate" investigation that is dogging GOP presidential hopeful and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie revealed possible wrongdoing on the part of the airline.
But the probe of Samson raised the possibility that United Airlines ran an illegal influence campaign to convince Samson to lower flight fees at Newark Liberty Airport and approve millions in spending to improve the airport.
Christie's mentor, David Sampson is at the heart of this new chapter in Bridgegate infamy, but the mention of Sampson's possible culpability sent Christie over the edge.
Todd: You've got four people very close to you that are either indicted, plead guilty or are under investigation. What should we take away from this as Americans when we think about you? Either you had bad judgement on the people you picked or you created a climate where people thought they could operate this way?
Christie: Neither. Here's what happens. For thirteen years I've been in public life both as a US attorney (garbled) and I'll tell you. I've set an incredibly high standard for all of our people to have to reach everyday and I hold them to that standard and here's what a real leader does. You can't when you 60,000 people working for you Chuck, determine...
Todd: It's not 60,000 ...this is...this is (Christie interrupting) the Port Authority. This is as big an appointment as you make in New jersey, is it not?
Christie: First of all, you have absolutely no idea. You have no idea as you sit here today that he (Sampson) did anything wrong, nor does anybody else and let's just stop reading the newspaper...
Let's stop reading the newspapers and blathering back what that is, K?
Wow, nasty much? Christie tried to make believe that he should be judged, not on the illegal actions the people he appointed into the upper echelons of his administration took, but that he fired them afterwards.
Christie: You take action and you terminate them.
He then tried to shift his problems onto Hillary Clinton because he doesn't want to have to answer for the sins of Bridgegate, which have taken its toll on his image and his campaign.
— JohnAmato (@JohnAmato) September 13, 2015
As a side note, hopefully Chuck Todd learned a valuable lesson today about confronting Republican candidates. They will come on your show if you actually act like an inquisitive Sunday morning talk show host. Todd has taken heat for this exchange with Lewis Black.
Lewis Black had a backhanded stab at Chuck Todd and the traditional mainstream media news that caused Chuck Todd to tell an inconvenient truth. "I have watched you and everybody else where somebody comes on," Black said. "I don't know how you do it. Because I would be barking at them. Because they sit there and go 'glib glib [blah blah]' and you sit there."
Todd then interjected. "We all sit there because we all know the first time we bark is the last time we do the show. ... All of a sudden, no one will come on your show."