February 9th, 2014
11:25 AM ET
7 years ago

Star-Ledger editor on Christie endorsement: ‘We blew it’

Updated 1:56 p.m. ET, 2/9/2014

(CNN) – The Newark-based Star-Ledger, the largest newspaper in New Jersey, was already reluctant when it endorsed Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election bid. But now its editorial page editor is having a strong case of buyer’s remorse.

“We blew this one,” Tom Moran of the paper’s editorial board wrote in a column Sunday.

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The column comes exactly one month after Christie denied in a nearly two-hour press conference that he had any involvement in or knowledge of an alleged plot to cause traffic problems in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

A state legislative committee and the Justice Department are investigating whether top Christie appointees orchestrated days of traffic gridlock around the George Washington Bridge last year to punish the city’s Democratic mayor for political reasons.

Christie fired two of the top aides accused of playing a role in the incident, while another one resigned before the scandal blew up in national headlines.

Report: Fort Lee mayor says Christie appointees may have courted him

In the editorial, Moran cited the tumultuous ride that Christie’s administration has taken in the past month.

“We knew Christie was a bully. But we didn’t know his crew was crazy enough to put people’s lives at risk in Fort Lee as a means to pressure the mayor,” he wrote. He also pointed to separate allegations that Christie’s administration used Superstorm Sandy funds to pressure a local mayor to back a private development deal.

Christie denies that as well.

In defense of the Star-Ledger, Moran wrote that the editorial board’s endorsement last fall was a choice between two flawed candidates - a view the paper acknowledged at the time of the nod.

“Even before this scandal train got rolling, this endorsement was a close call and a split vote among the editorial board. We regard Christie as the most overrated politician in the country, at least until now, a man who is better at talking than governing,” Moran wrote.

NJ Star-Ledger endorses Christie with ‘deep reservations’

The paper backed him, however, because of his work to improve education programs, as well as pension and health reforms. On top of that, Christie’s Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, was “not up to the job of being governor,” Moran wrote.

Moran wrote Sunday that the editorial board didn’t consider Christie more likable than Buono, either.

“Christie has boycotted the editorial board for years, an attempt to bully us into more loving coverage. So we’ve had a front-row view of what a creep he can be,” he wrote. “Buono is the more likable person by far.”

But “we swallowed our hesitations and endorsed Christie, complete with our long list of deep reservations,” he wrote.

Christie's office declined a request for comment about the new column.

The controversy has tarnished Christie’s potential run as a potential front-runner for the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

Even so, Moran argued, the other possible GOP front-runners are weaker, and he’d still back Christie.

“Now ask yourself this: If the Republican primary came to a choice between (Sen. Rand) Paul and Christie, which candidate would you endorse? At the risk of repeating a mistake, I’d pick Christie in that primary, even now. And if you think that makes some sense, then you understand how excruciating the endorsement process can be,” he wrote.

Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (311 Responses)
  1. John

    Everyone'a finally getting to see the real Chris Christie; a fat loud-mouth blowhard who bullied his staff and those in his political aim. This guy never was presidential material and all it took was for someone to scratch the surface and expose him. The only difference between Christie and Mayor Rob Ford is their geographic location.

    February 9, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. TomGI

    Christie is an odd looking guy. He never have the "Q" score to win the presidency.

    February 9, 2014 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. PuzzledInPeoria

    So who will it be in 2016? Marco Rubio? Paul Ryan? Some puppet we haven't heard of yet?

    We can smell the stink from this scandal all the way in Illinois..and believe me, we know what scandal is in Illinois.

    February 9, 2014 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. john wright

    Did the Star Ledger endorse Obama? Because if they did their "remorse" over Christie is nothing compared to that of Obama's. I can see their remorseful projectile vomiting.

    February 9, 2014 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. OldJoe

    The lesser of two evils is still evil.

    February 9, 2014 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. addison

    I do not like Christie and never have.. yet in this post I am going to defend him and it makes me angry I must do so. First these are allegations, not a shred of proof he was involved yet. So to say you blew it, on allegations is just another you may have blown it again. Wait for the facts to come out. I think he is a creep, but I will never ever let my feelings get in the way of truth and facts. Obviously many will make such judgments. I don't support Obama but I get just as angry at those who make such false statements about him as well. Can't we just quit the BS and stick to the truth on EVERYONE it would serve us better.

    February 9, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. anon

    News outlets that endorse anything or anyone are not news outlets, period.

    February 9, 2014 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. Jimmyjam048

    This guy has almost as many regrets as the Zimmerman jury.

    February 9, 2014 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. Howard

    He's just a good republican. At least he didn't cause thousands of American soldiers to die and run up about 8 trillion in debt. If republicans still support Bush they should certainly support Christie.

    February 9, 2014 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  10. rude

    I was soooo looking forward to voting Christi, but unless the GOP fields a candidate that is not Tea Party psycho, looks like my vote will be going to Hillary.

    February 9, 2014 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  11. dave

    I wonder why Clinton News Network doesn't hound Obama as much as this?

    February 9, 2014 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. alistair

    the paper "backed" christiie to keep in good with his people to get favors, beneifts, deals and inside access-nothing more-it's the way it works in the land of "endorsements" - pay to play!

    February 9, 2014 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. Kevin

    @pay...the difference is Roosevelt didn't get in the chair by choice. CC made his choice to stay obese long ago!

    February 9, 2014 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. Herman

    What a wimp this editor is. How would you like to be led in battle by this loser. You endorsed Christie because you knew he was going to win, reelected by your subscribers .

    February 9, 2014 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  15. Twenty Four Hundred

    When it comes to editors and the media? Yeah, they blow it alright.

    February 9, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  16. sqeptiq

    @Pay....200 years ago people just like you were saying the same nonsense. Yet here we still are and still not doing so badly.

    February 9, 2014 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  17. Mac

    Christy has lost all credibility, period.

    February 9, 2014 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. are122

    “We blew this one,” Tom Moran of the paper’s editorial board wrote in a column Sunday. <~~ You sure did Tom. There was never a traffic jam in Jersey until Christie was elected. You should be ashamed. When Christie is booted out there will never be another traffic jam in Jersey....well, if there is at least we know to call the State Senator.

    February 9, 2014 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. Don Jones

    Gov. Christie is iconic of the GOP lack of character. Christie and Giuliani were thuggish politicians that had catastrophes occur during their tenure, Otherwise , they were unremarkable.

    February 9, 2014 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  20. private

    He is such a bully. I'd love to share what his staff did to my friend
    I'm not against his beliefs/politics on the whole. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.
    He is a bully!

    February 9, 2014 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  21. C Cranford

    You know...it is just a thought. You don't have to endorse either candidate if you don't like them. Just saying. Picking the worst of two flawed politicians just to endorse one is not a justification. Of course now New Jersy, you own him now.

    February 9, 2014 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  22. mfvjr

    I have never like Mr. Christie in the first place. I have never voted for him from the first term and the second term and never will. The reason is during his first term, before the storm Sandy debacle, when everything was quite; there was a noble project, the ARC tunnel which he quashed. Initial funding was there (secured by a Democrat Senator the late Sen Lautenberg) but Mr. Christie denied the go ahead signal of the infrastructure because of expenses. This could have been his shining legacy for every individual and all people who will benefit from the project and its not him who pay but the people anyway. It is a sham to his "pronouncement that he can work across the aisles."

    Natural catastrophe that occurred does not define him, it is his job. His real and true color is showing now.

    February 9, 2014 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  23. JC

    "If the Republican primary came to a choice between (Sen. Rand) Paul and Christie, which candidate would you endorse? At the risk of repeating a mistake, I’d pick Christie in that primary"

    Repeating the same mistakes while hoping for a different outcome? There's a name for that condition.

    February 9, 2014 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  24. IMeanReally

    I'm sure they endorsed Obama, as well. Have they mentioned that they 'blew it' on that one, too? Probably not. they don't have the 'nads to do that.

    February 9, 2014 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  25. coachhouser

    ".....................at least until now, a man who is better at talking than governing,” Moran wrote."

    I hope he also realizes that the man who resides a little south of NJ is also all talk, back-room deals, bullying, pouting, and then executive orders that are unconstitutional. Hey, Moran, they're called POLITICIANS! And they're pretty much all alike.

    February 9, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
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