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tv   Crossfire  CNN  January 14, 2014 3:28pm-4:01pm PST

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see if this was appropriate using chris christie and his family in this ad, taxpayer money involved. we should know when? when we will get a result if it was appropriate or inappropriate. >> of course, the hud inspector general overseeing this running an independent investigation. they won't talk about timing here. congressman frank pallone said he expects it will be a couple of months. there will be a public report released once the investigation is over. >> congressman pallone. chris, thanks very much. remember, you can always follow what is going on here in the situation room on twitter. tweet me. tweet the show. that's it for me. "crossfire" with special guest donna brazil starts right now.
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tonight on "crossfire," the state of the apology. >> mistakes were clearly made. >> despite his apologetic state of the state address are new allegations adding to governor chris christie's political problems? on the left sally kohn. on the right newt gingrich. in the cross fire donna brazil. the politics of being sorry now while keeping open the bridge to 2016 tonight on "crossfire." welcome to "crossfire." i'm sally kohn on the left. >> i'm newt gingrich on the right. in the "crossfire" a top democratic strategist and a republican former governor. during his state of the state address new jersey governor chris christie firmly and forcefully dealt with the
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scandal he is facing. before we go on, jake tapper is in trenton. jake? >> reporter: newt, the feeling right here by the governor's aides is that he did what he needed to do nine days ago, the idea he would be apologizing for a political scandal in his state of the state address would have been completely foreign as a concept. of course, the ee-mails came out last week suggesting that his inner staff, some top advisers were involved in what appears to be a political vendetta. the governor said mistakes were clearly made although one could argue quibble with the question of the passive voice in that, it was more than a mistake one would say. and that he took full responsibility and said he would deal with all appropriate investigations. response here in trenton seems to be breaking down predictably
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along party lines. democrats say they can't believe they knew what governor christie knew what was going on. members of the investigative committee will be announced. republicans starting to firmly back governor christie saying they take him at his word and they believe him. he is a former u.s. attorney and they are behind him 100%. newt and sally. >> chris christie already had a reputation for being a political bully. the bridge allegations just added to that. now the mayors of jersey city and hoboken say their funding was cut because they didn't endorse christie. plus cnn federal investigators looking into $25 million in sandy relief that went tussauo so-called tourism ads featuring
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the governor. >> i know you're thrilled by this opportunity. the fact is on the $25 million in ads the federal government, the obama administration approved them and the secretary of commerce praised them last fall as a really effective ad program. i don't think that dog is going to hunt very far. in the "crossfire" tonight donna brazil, democratic strategist. his new book is called "america, hope for change." >> i got to ask. for those who don't know donna is from louisiana. i went to tulane. i knew the dog hunting would get to her immediately. isn't this a fact that this is like christmas for the democrats? finally something other than obamacare to talk about? >> there is no question that chris christie deflected from the controversy surrounding him.
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the dog may not hunt right now but the dog is sniffing. this scandal is live. it's in living color. it is going to continue to dog governor christie. >> the truth is i think that while conservatives are looking for a way to bring president obama in this or hillary clinton or anyone else, the truth is chris christie did something i think every good manager should do. that is he stepped up and took responsibility. now today he said he will fully cooperate with the investigators. and there is a lot of investigating to do. >> i agree with you. that's not good for ratings, by the way. transparency, openness, we screwed up. i fired my people. that leads to certain comparisons with former presidents and the current president.
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after two hours and my only problem with the last few days ago was two hours. i learned as governor like congress you can't feed this beast. the beast will be there. if he would have been there for 24 hours the 25th hour we have more angles for you and more questions for you. other than that i thought he handled in as up front and transparent way. it is going to be bad. he understands it. it is all of the political opponents, everybody is embarrassed. everybody who has a vendetta over the long term are coming out of the woodwork. the bottom line is it will pass. >> i'm not so sure. we have the dog. we have the beast. let's talk about the buck. where the buck didn't seem to stop yet, there are stories, the fire hose, story after story that suggests this political
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bullying reputation and climate. even if, a big if, the governor wasn't involved in this personally, still don't you think he is responsible for the culture of political bullying he has created in his administration? >> that is a big if. he has a strong personality. it is popular in new jersey and some argue popular in the east. christie's real test will be if it is popular in colorado, new mexico, california. this guy in a very blue state just won big. he has been a very successful governor with that approach. you might not like me, this is the way it is. as i said his test will be when he goes outside of the east. >> that was the problem. part of his, i guess, charisma was that he was a fix it guy. then you have a bridge story controversial and where was the
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governor? the first time he came out he laughed about it and was snarky. >> how dumb do you think he is if he actually knew about this and manifested that attitude in the first place? he is not a dumb man. i think that goes to his transparency and honesty. the best way to handle this is the way he handled it. my folks screwed up. i'm the boss. i take responsibility. i want to go and apologize personally. i'm going to have a long press conference and answer every question over the next few weeks. and i believe if he is being honest which i believe he is, that is his reputation, i know him personally. i think he is what he is. it will dissipate over time. >> let me point out, washington political types love this. the news media loves it. the fact is overwhelmingly people aren't effected.
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16% say it makes him look less favorable. if you worked for a solid week working this poor guy over and you only get 16% that says it makes it favorable, spant this a dry well? >> he had a large bar. he was in what i call the angel. >> that is a good place to be. >> there are a bunch of devils down there. he is at this margin where the level of trust -- it is all about trust as you all know, to have people trust your judgment, trust your values and so forth. i think people are going to begin to question him especially when he says i don't know this guy. i haven't talked to this guy and then "wall street journal" shows up with a picture. i think he has to make sure there is no other shoe that will drop and no other story that will contradict what he said last week at the long winded press conference. >> loving all the metaphors we are getting here. >> shoe popping, animals falling
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left and right. governor, let's talk about who does seem to care about this, the people of new jersey. the majority already don't believe that christie is being completely honest about what he knows. it seems to me republicans made character an issue. they have been working for 20 years to make character an issue in elections. bill clinton, anthony weiner, john edwards. is this the character chicken coming home to roost for the republicans? >> absolutely. a character of standing out in front of everybody saying two people i trusted made a mistake. they violated my trust and the trust of the people of new jersey. i fired them. i'm the boss. this is about responsibility. it's about good government, open government, transparency. i fired them. blame me. i'm going to go make a personal apology. i'm going to make the slings and arro arrows. all of these investigations. as i say, i really have empathy
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for chris. at a small level i went through this one time with investigation. and the damage is done. what you see with the numbers, the damage is done through the head lines. every day and 24/7 news coverage and cable tv and talk radio. if he was on honest -- >> if. >> if he was honest which i believe he was it turns into a positive story as opposed to the bill clinton -- >> chris christie set a new standard in his state of the state address. if president obama follows it imagine how much he will be apologizing for during his upcoming state of the union speech. i'll have a few suggestions about president obama apologies when we come back. [ male announcer ] this is the story of the little room over the pizza place on chestnut street the modest first floor bedroom in tallinn, estonia
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brazil and bob ehrling. new jersey governor chris christie made mistakes and fired two of his closest aides. by that standard president obama could spend his entire upcoming state of the union speech apologizing, apologizing about the obamacare website, about bengha benghazi, the economy, internal revenue service targeting of conservatives. the list goes on and on. whereas christie fired someone close to him. no one close to president obama has had consequence for failures that hurt the american people. >> i have to slow your roll here. i have a list of apology after apology. on health care the buck stops with me. this is my team. if it is not working my job to
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get it fixed. i'm sorry finding themselves in the situation. on benghazi, i have been clear taking apology. irs. he has apologized. >> is there a card with regard to everybody who lost their job? >> i have that one. the acting irs commissioner forced to resign. the government exempt commissioner was forced to retire early. ms. lerner was forced to retire early. and then we have holly who was in charge of all of the agreements with the irs. she was also placed on indefinite leave. >> indefinite leave is not fired. >> this happened in a cincinnati office. was he supposed to go down to cincinnati? >> the obamacare website? >> i was talking about the irs.
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>> that was one scandal. >> some of these are tragedies. >> obamacare is a tragedy, i agree. >> when you have millions of americans without health care -- >> that is not funny. >> people declare bankruptcy so they can stay healthy, that is a tragedy. giving people access to health care -- >> those off of insurance because of obamacare. >> because the insurance company says we can't sell you this crappy policy anymore and therefore you have to buy a new policy. >> i love that. ia just heard it, folks. crappy policy. we know best. washington knows best. >> this is actually part of the reform -- >> it is one size fits all. >> this is substance. this is actually issues. >> we are talking about his close senior staff and republicans want to draw false equivalencies to president obama. we are talking about irs branch in cincinnati.
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>> we are talking about looking into the camera and being negligent with regard to how his health care reform actually would work in the real world with real people undergoing real treatments. >> i'm sorry people are finding themselves in this situation doesn't seem negligent to me. >> i have a simple question for you two. if somebody introduces tomorrow a bill that says we will keep president obama's promises. you will be able to keep your health insurance and keep your doctor if you want. do you think the president would sign it or veto it? >> it depends on all of the other details in the bill. i think the president would give it every serious consideration and he should give it every serious consideration, not like some of the republicans who have been a wol when it comes to fixing the economy. absent without leave. >> democratic president,
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democratic senate, democratic house. a lot of damage. >> let me get back to chris christie. i know him. i've known him for years. terrific governor, real threat to hillary clinton and democratic establishment. blunt, in your face, this is the way i am like it or not. this is not how they write it up. so for the first time in his political career big-time problem. no doubt about it. this is a real important event in his lifetime. how does he handle it? up front. here i am. >> let's get into an example of that. i think part of the issue here is not -- we don't actually know what he knew and when he knew it. why didn't he seem like he wanted to figure it out sooner? this was his close staff. these are his closest staff. the people he works with every single day, his deputies, his campaign director.
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now, i want you to watch this clip and then we will discuss it. >> your neighbor is the chief of staff and your deputy chief of staff is right down the hall. and everybody knows day in and day out what is playing out in your state down to a minuscule detail. so there is something here that just does not connect fully. >> that's obviously republican governor john huntsman. if there had been a bottleneck in one of your tunnels and people couldn't get home wouldn't you that day try to get to the bottom of what is going on? then and not four months later? >> yes. and i would have taken the word of the people i pay to do that job? >> but four months after it happened? he didn't look into it until a few days ago. >> can i just say that? republican, democrat,
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conservative, liberal doesn't matter. here is the deal. if you know too much you don't know anything. when you are governor it is a big-time job and you really need to focus and everything else you leave to 60,000 other people running that state. >> so you're saying he's a poor administrator, he's not on top of the issues? come on. this is a guy whose part of his reputation is he's on top of things. that he gets things done. this is his campaign director. >> in any particular day, does the president know what his cabinet secretaries did that day? >> i'm sure he knows what his chief of staff did. >> his transportation secretary? >> president said -- two clear examples he can't hide from. one is benghazi. benghazi is right in the middle of the white house. it is right in the national -- "the situation room." and there's no question if you
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look at the reports on cnn today where the military is now finally coming out well over a year later saying gee, we were totally unprepared. they're also coming out and saying they saw senator feinstein said "the new york times" quks was totally wrong how they characterized this. we knew from day one it was a terrorist attack. the president and his team misinformed the entire country. second, the obamacare process is not in cincinnati, not some distant place. this is the biggest single domestic change in modern times. if nobody in the white house was responsible, that would tell constitution something else, wouldn't it. >> the website, the roll out of the website was a huge mistake. it was an embarrassment. and the president has said such. he's apologizeds for that. the health care law is not the website. over 100 million americans are enjoying the benefits is preventive care, keeping their kids on the -- the children with access. >> 26-year-olds on your parents'
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plan, that's something to brag about. wow. >> a lot of 26-year-olds. >> dependency is cool now. >> still a lot of 26-year-olds dry trying to get a second degree. >> trying to get the job in the economy. >> a very tough economy. the republicans have been awol on trying to get job creation back to where we were under prerecession levels. >> the other difference is deliberateness. we can disagree over the details. i agree with donna, well put. but the differences is is irs, benghazi, be health care reform, you are not i hope, newt, going to suggest the president or anyone on his team deliberately did benghazi, deliberately blew up health care reform. >> i will suggest this. deliberately his staff misled him about the impact of the individual market. no doubt about it. we have the proof now. we have the documents. >> stay here.
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next, the final quell for both of our guests -- we also want you at home to weigh in on today's fire back question, what is your current view of chris christie? tweet favorable or unfavorable using the #crossfire. we'll have the results after the break. [ male announcer ] the new new york is open. open to innovation. open to ambition. open to bold ideas. that's why new york has a new plan -- dozens of tax free zones all across the state.
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. we're back with donna brazile and bob air lick. now it's time for the final question. i have to ask you this. all this talk about bullying and all this frantic fear on the
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left, you have a frontrunner who apparently has an enemy list inside her own party of people she had like to get with even with apparently starting with senator claire mccaskill. doesn't it kind of -- isn't it kind of weird to worry about chris christie as a bully if your front-runner has a prenomination enemies list? >> first of all, it's called political intelligence. what i believe happened is that they're looking at people who early on supported some other candidates and this is an opportunity for mrs. clinton to renew her acquaintances. as you know is, senator mccaskill -- i'm putting the best face forward. >> acquaintances. >> i might be 99 on the list of 100. i want to be careful. >> like al capone wanted to reaquaint himself with as many friends. she is tough, tenacious. but she has all of those
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qualities we like in a good strong president. >> why is she not a bully and he is a bully? >> because is he by definition is a bully. somebody who throws a sucker punch and walks away. she'll sit in the arena and keep hitting >> every politician has a list of who they're going to help raise money for or not. that's different from states funds towards that politician or close down bridges. governor, i wanted to ask, you know, there seems to be the larger issue that chris christie doesn't seem to have many friends right now, present company excluded that the base of the republican party has been out to get him for a long time. there seems to be the larger problem that republicans, you're a sensible republican, republicans can't elect sensible people anymore because their party has 34506ed that far to the right. >> what kind of question is that? i think he's got a lot of friends. >> he does have a lot of the friends understand. next time. >> thanks, speaker. >> donna brazile and bob air
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lick. go to facebook or twitter to weigh in on our fireback question. what is your current view of chris christie. 60% say unfafrlable. the debate continues onli >> i'm sally cone. >> from the right i'm newt gingrich. "erin burnett outfront" starts "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- next breaking news, a school shooting at a new mexico middle school. new details about the young gunman. plus, how did a southwest plane land at the wrong airport? inside the cockpit for an exclusive bird's eye view of what happened. and a new crisis in the u.s. heroin. let's go outfront. >> good evening, i'm don


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