NBC host David Gregory got into a heated debate with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus about Priebus’ forgiving views toward New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the role Christie played, if any, in the traffic-jam scandal reported last week.
In a Sunday morning interview on Meet the Press, Priebus argued that Americans would forgive Christie because “we all make mistakes.”
Gregory continued to press Priebus on the climate the governor created for his administration now that emails have been released showing a top aide in his staff orchestrated the closing of lanes to an extremely busy bridge to hurt Fort Lee, N.J., Mayor Mark Sokolich.
“They’re [the American people] forgiving when you take ownership, you take corrective action. And that’s what Chris Christie showed,” the chairman explained. “He stood there for 111 minutes in an open dialogue with the press. Now, only if Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would give us 111 seconds of that, would we find out some of what we want to find out about Obamacare, Benghazi, the IRS? I mean Chris Christie has been totally open here.”
Gregory noted that Priebus hadn’t been so forgiving with the president’s administration when Priebus accused Obama of setting a tone that allowed scandals to happen under his watch. Gregory then asked Priebus if the same was true of Christie.
“Did he set the tone, because that’s what you said the president did?” the NBC host asked.
“He trusted people that lied to him and he fired those people,” Priebus argued. “The president doubles down on [Attorney General] Eric Holder, he doubles down on [former Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton and [former IRS official] Louis Learner and [National Security Advisor] Susan Rice. It’s the opposite effect.”
“There’s some deflection going on here,” Gregory observed.