Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Galupo is writing about how Chris Christie could actually be the nominee in 2016 because he is not John McCain and he’s not Mitt Romney. Despite the knock against him by the decepticon establishment that he is a pretty social conservative — Galupo cites in his post. One of the pieces of evidence that he cites is a hit piece written in Nation magazine by John Nichols which describes Christie as some sort of arch right-wing pro-lifer. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: For a very intriguing and fascinating post at American Conservative Magazine today, which I stumbled upon after the show began, I’ll read you the headline from Scott Galupo, “That’s Right: Chris Christie is a ‘Good Conservative Republican’.” AG, the last line of the piece, do you have it pulled up in front of you?
AG: I closed it but it was very entertaining.
Mike: Were you entertained by that or was your thought process piqued and you went: Hmm, that’s actually pretty spot on?
AG: I have a couple thoughts on the last line if you want to read it.
Mike: Should we lay out what’s actually in the post first? Let’s do that. Galupo is writing about how Chris Christie could actually be the nominee in 2016 because he is not John McCain and he’s not Mitt Romney. Despite the knock against him by the decepticon establishment that he is a pretty social conservative — Galupo cites in his post. One of the pieces of evidence that he cites is a hit piece written in Nation magazine by John Nichols which describes Christie as some sort of arch right-wing pro-lifer. Listen to this. This is what Nichols writes at Nation:
“Christie also knows his party won’t be looking for a Northeastern moderate in 2016. The GOP has never been more conservative than it is now; [Mike: You want to bet? This is fake conservatism, Mr. Nichols.] and while the motivation to win may be powerful, the common wisdom among the folks who actually nominate presidential candidates says that experiments with supposedly ‘mainstream’ figures like John McCain and Mitt Romney will not be repeated. So Christie is executing a delicate maneuver. He needs to run left this year to pump up his gubernatorial re-election vote numbers, and then pivot right in states like Iowa and South Carolina. Amid all the gamesmanship, it’s easy to lose sight of where Christie is really coming from—unless you look at his record.
Christie is no moderate. He’s a social conservative who opposes reproductive rights, has defunded Planned Parenthood and has repeatedly rejected attempts to restore state funding for family planning centers. He has vetoed money for clinics that provide health screenings for women, including mammograms and pap smears. He vetoed marriage equality.”
Nichols goes on to declare that “Christie is at his most militant when it comes to implementing the austerity agenda associated with the most conservative Republican governors.” [Mike: Galupo says he doesn’t necessarily agree with everything that Nichols has written.]
But Nichols is largely correct: Christie is by any reasonable measure a fiscal and social conservative.
The perception that he’s some kind of squish or turncoat is a manifestation of the self-defeating tribal warfare between conservatives. Consider former Speaker Newt Gingrich as a counterexample: here was an ideologically unreliable loose cannon who, five minutes before the primary season, had embraced cap-and-trade and enjoyed a quasi-sleazy camaraderie with government-sponsored enterprises like Freddie Mac. Yet he made a big splash entirely because of tonal aggressiveness. As I put it months after he’d crashed and burned, conservative primary voters loved Newt (if only briefly) because of how much he loathed his secular-progressive-radical community-organizing antagonists.
Chris Christie’s problems today are largely of this “hair on fire” variety. Yes, he’s “moderate” on immigration and guns. Those seem like big deals now, but I suspect they will be less so by 2015. Christie’s longer-term hurdle will be to dispel the notion that he is too solicitous of media favor and too complimentary of his opponents.
This is really quite something when you think about it: of all people, Chris Christie may not be enough of a jerk to satisfy the Breitbart right.
Mike: I guess what he means by that is that he has not done enough things to antagonize those who are conventionally lumped in with the terms “liberal” or “liberals.” I don’t think Romney was enough of a jerk. You thought what when you were reading that?
AG: A couple points stood out. First, a guy that’s been stereotyped as a jerk that might fit that role would be Ted Cruz. There have been numerous articles written about him being a jerk. I don’t think that’s a good way to go about winning the presidency when you need more than just the “far right.” At this point, Cruz — I know there’s a story about him being eligible to run for president. This weekend it came out considering his Canadian birth and that sort of thing. In terms of a jerk, I kind of think Cruz has filled that role pretty well, if that’s what —
Mike: He’s the leader of the clubhouse.
AG: Yeah. You can say Romney is not a jerk, and by no means was he a jerk, but I think a lot of people took his 47 percent comment as a jerk-ish comment. If you look at it, Rand is not a jerk whatsoever. He’s incredibly polite and has discussions.
Mike: To a fault he’s polite.
AG: He went to Howard, which you would have thought would not be an ideal audience for him, and spoke and answered questions and was critiqued and was pleasant throughout.
Mike: He went on Rachel Maddow and answered questions about the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
AG: I would also say Rubio is not a jerk. I don’t think he comes across as standoffish. The thing is, Christie has had —
Mike: But isn’t Christie perceived as a jerk? Remember when he held his hand out and lauded President Obama after Hurricane Sandy?
AG: The difference between Christie and Cruz is I think Christie has been a jerk to the right people, in terms of playing off that the media can be jerks and people that pick on him are jerks. Cruz, I think, has just been a jerk in general, or at least that’s been the preconceived notion. I think Christie has found that sweet spot of where he can pick on and be a jerk to the people that the vast majority will agree with him. He does have a good record. I don’t think he or guys like Scott Walker get enough credit for turning their states around in what are blue states and making them successful governorships as Republicans.
Mike: If he’s reelected in New Jersey, which is one of the bluest of all blue states, he at least will have gotten the credential that few who have sought the White House as a Republican, certainly since Ronald Reagan in 1984, that a Republican can actually win a blue state. It just doesn’t happen. That’s certainly something to be considered, meaning that he probably won’t get within a country mile of that nomination.
End Mike Church Show Transcript