New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) appearance in Manahawkin may have turned the tiny Jersey Shore “census-designated place” into his presidential Waterloo, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said Thursday night.
“I’m not prepared to say definitively tonight that Chris Christie just announced he is not running for president,” Maddow said. “But, compare what he said with the way he usually talks about this thing, and it kind of seems today like Chris Christie announced he is not going to run for president in 2016.”
Christie was in the community to meet with victims of Hurricane Sandy, Maddow explained, when he said he accepted the job of running the state “for eight years, not four years” and assured the audience that “this is where I intend to spend the rest of my life.”
“That is not at all the way that Governor Chris Christie has talked recently about his immediate next few years’ plans,” Maddow pointed out. “Not at all.”
She then played various clips of Christie refusing to commit to serving out a full second term while in the midst of his re-election campaign, insisting that it was impossible to predict what could happen. The deflections continued after he won that second term, with Christie telling ABC host George Stephanopoulos, “Nobody can make those predictions.”
Maddow also noted that Christie’s team was staffed with former members from ex-New York City Mayor Rudolf Giuliani’s (R) disastrous presidential run.
“Not only did he not win; he was the laughingstock of the 2008 Republican presidential primary,” Maddow said of Giuliani, pointing out that the mayor’s skipped the Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries in favor of trying to win Florida.
“Absolute total failure,” she said, pointing out that not only did Mike DuHaime — the strategist who plotted that course for Giuliani — join Christie’s team, but so did field director national field director Bill Stepien, now Christie’s campaign manager; and communications lead Maria Comella, currently serving in the same capacity for Christie.
Now, Maddow said, longtime Giuliani ally Randy Mastro has been called upon by Christie to help him address the growing investigation into his administration’s role in the September 2013 lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.
“If you do want to run for president, following the Rudy Giuliani path is a really weird way to do it,” Maddow said. “But Chris Christie made clear today that he is trying to follow the Rudy Giuliani path out of this scandal. And he may have just announced that his presidential aspirations are over in the meantime.”
Watch Maddow explore Christie’s latest moves, as aired on MSNBC on Thursday, below.