Promoted by Jason Springer: We always love when huntsu stops by to say hello to her good friend Chris Christie.
Well, Chris Christie’s campaign — not the man himself, but a low-level flack — responded to the news that he had discussed running for Governor with President Bush’s chief political adviser Karl Rove as far back as 2007. We’ll take it line by line to catch the dissembling, made up “facts”, etc.
“Mr. Rove’s testimony confirms what we’ve known all along, that Chris’ appointment as U.S. Attorney was based on his qualifications
Really? Rove admits that William Palatucci was the one who forwarded Chrstie’s name to Rove and the selection committee. Palatucci was a prime mover in the 1990s to get George Bush the nomination for President, and was the Finance Chair for the state GOP under Joe Kyrillos, a family friend of the Christie’s. Rove also says that he had known Palatucci “for years.”
But as finance chair Palatucci would have been the person who solicited the quarter of a million dollars Christie and his brother Todd donated to the NJ Republican Party in 2001. The Christies had never given anywhere near that much before, and now his former law partner solicits and receives a major donation (similar money went to the federal GOP) then forwards Christie’s resume to Karl Rove.
Remember, PoliticsNJ reported that Christie was not under consideration for any position by the Bush administration in 2000.
Needless to say, no facts presented by Rove answer any of the questions as to whether the hundreds of thousands raised by Chris Christie for Bush or the more than a million dollars donated by Christie and his family had any impact on his getting the job. It is ridiculous on its face to suggest it does not.
Even worse, Rove admits that Christie did not have the qualifications for the job.
Q Were you aware that a New Jersey Federal bar group objected to Mr. Christie’s appointment because he did not have trial, criminal law, or investigative experience?
A I don’t recall that, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
On with the Christie statement:
… and his subsequent performance as U.S. Attorney was based on the facts of each case, not on politics,” Comella said.
Actually, Rove says nothing of the sort. The closest he came was to say,
Q Again, do you have any idea or information about whether that contention [that Christie investigated more Ds than Rs] had anything to do with Mr. Christie being on or not on any list of U.S. Attorneys to be replaced?
That question has nothing to do with whether Christie was selective in his investigations — and note we don’t say he was selective in his prosecutions — but whether that was a factor in his keeping his job. Rove didn’t once say Christie didn’t use political considerations as US Attorney. And he very clearly said that Christie did solicit advice from Rove about partisan issues related to the Governor’s race.
At best the statement that Rove cleared Christie is a stretch, at worst it’s just wrong.
On with the statement!
“Furthermore, since even before the 2005 election there has been great speculation about whether Chris would ultimately run for some form of elected office. “As such, it is not surprising that as the Bush Administration was winding down, Mr. Rove inquired about Chris’ future plans once his term as U.S. Attorney would come to an end,” Comella added.
Well, I’ll grant that Christie might be looking for a new job “as the Bush administration was winding down” but not that summer 2007 is the winding down of the administration. There were still at least 17 months — 35 percent of the Bush administration left.
Christie himself, however, has put the lie to this by saying that he only began thinking seriously about running for Governor in August 2008. Now that’s the winding down of the Bush administration, but summer 2007 is certainly not.
At best this one is spin, at worst it is candidate Christie making a direct contradiction of what US Attorney Christie said.
“In this informal conversation, Chris discussed with Mr. Rove the fact he was being urged to run for elected office and Mr. Rove in turn offered to recommend people who could help Chris reach a decision if he eventually seriously considered running for office.?
That contradicts what Rove said in his sworn statement to Congress.
I talked to him twice in the last couple of years, perhaps one time while I was at the White House and once or twice since I left the White House, but — not regarding his duties as U.S. Attorney, but regarding his interest in running for Governor, and he asked me questions about who — who were good people that knew about running for Governor that he could talk to.
According to Rove, Christie asked him who to talk to. According to the Christie campaign, Rove offered the advice unsolicited. It can’t be both ways.
Rove also implies, though it is not clear, that there were two or three conversations about running for Governor with Rove and not just one. The campaign specifically says “this informal conversation” which ignores at least one if not two other conversations.
This statement from the campaign spins the testimony, misstates the testimony, directly contradicts Chris Christie’s previous statements, and states as fact the opposite of what Rove said.
This is not unusual for Christie. Just search our archives for more examples.