Under the headline “Chris Christie endorsement regrettable,” New Jersey Star-Ledger Editorial Page Editor Tom Moran wrote Sunday that his paper’s 2013 endorsement of Chris Christie to serve another term as governor was a mistake:
Yes, 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. We didn’t know he would use Hurricane Sandy aid as a political slush fund. And we certainly didn’t know that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
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. We criticized him for trashing the working poor, for his tea party approach to the environment, for his opposition to gay marriage and a livable minimum wage. And so on.
After that acidic indictment, Moran went on to praise Christie for his policy positions on education and public heath.
Then, as if the entire first half of this column didn’t happen, Moran wrote that he’d still possibly endorse Christie in a 2016 Republican primary: “If the Republican primary came to a choice between 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.”
Christie and his administration are currently wrapped in a scandal involving a local traffic jam concocted by his staff. Christie denies he knew anything about it.