Wednesday, April 15, 2015


When Scott Walker said his experience as governor had prepared him to deal with ISIS, it was widely described as a gaffe:
In response to a question about how he would deal with global threats such as the one posed by ISIS, Walker drew from his personal experience.

"If I can take on a 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world," Walker said on the CPAC stage, after giving a longer answer about how he would handle ISIS if he were the president.

... Walker has faced bipartisan criticism for the comment...
But in an interview with Hugh Hewitt yesterday, Chris Christie said more or less the same thing. Emphasis added below:
HH: How do you think you could stand up against the Russian autocrat and his PRC counterparts?

CC: How do you think, Hugh?

HH: (laughing)

CC: I mean, you know...

HH: I just ask the questions, Governor.

CC: Listen, most of the time, you know, you’ll see a lot of people in the media who criticize me for being too tough, and being too direct and too blunt. Let me put it this way. My view is this. There would be no misunderstandings between me and any foreign leaders if I decided to run for president and was elected. Our allies would know that I would stand firmly with them without reservation, and our adversaries would know that this United States under that leadership would stand firmly opposed to those things which we believe are contrary to American interests. And we haven’t had that for six years. We’ve had a president who has run an absolutely timid, ineffective foreign policy, not only him, but his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. And so the fact is that I don’t know who Vladimir Putin least wants to be president of the United States. I couldn’t guess that. But I would tell you this. There would be no misunderstandings between Mr. Putin and I if I were president.
When "a lot of people in the media" criticize Christie "for being too tough," what are they specifically criticizing him for doing? Cutting government workers' benefits and yelling at people. Christie is telling Hewitt that if you've seen the things he does that the media says are "too tough," that's all you need to know about how he'd deal with Putin. Christie crushes unions! Christie tells it like it is! If you can do that, you can deal with extremely complicated geopolitical issues as president -- right, Hugh?

I've never thought Walker's statement was a gaffe -- I still believe the GOP voter base agrees with him that depth of knowledge is less important than dividing the world into good people and evil people and endeavoring to respond to the evil people by kicking their asses. I feel the same way about what Christie said -- although I think he lost Republican voters a long time ago and will never get them back, I think if they were still open to him, they'd like this. In any case, it's now clear that Walker wasn't being uniquely simple-minded -- Christie is no different from Walker on this.

But Christie won't be called on it, at least by the mainstream media, because the mainstream media still likes Christie, even if no one else does anymore.


Victor said...

"I still believe the GOP voter base agrees with him that depth of knowledge is less important than dividing the world into good people and evil people and endeavoring to respond to the evil people by kicking their asses."

Yes, but first, their leaders have to get them into frothing-at-the-mouth fear at that evil- so that they can cower, cry, and whine while typing angry comments on the internet - while their leaders fake acting tough.

See, Reagan, Bush II, and Cheney - and their Keyboard Kommando's.

Danp said...

There is nothing tough about saying you're with the good people and against the bad ones, and everyone will know who you are. That's just empty rhetoric. Stick a pin in him and watch him pop.

John Taylor said...

If bluster and rhetoric make good diplomacy I suppose Christie is the man. I prefer a sensible, grown up approach to enemies and friends, alike.

sdhays said...

But what will Christie report back to us after he looks deeply into Putin's eyes? I think the last time there was a true "misunderstanding" was when a certain former President looked into Putin's soul...