Meet the Press   |  January 19, 2014

How Can Christie Move Forward?

A Meet the Press panel examines how N.J. Gov. Chris Christie must delicately move forward in the wake of scandal

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> me and i accepted the task of leading this state for eight years, not four years. i want to assure the people of new jersey of one thing -- i was born here. i was raised here. i'm raising my family here. and this is where i intend to spend the rest of my life.

>> chris christie this week battling against these charges in the bridge scandal and the fallout from it. back with andrea pitching, nia-malika henderson, in newt gingrich .

>> what do we think about this? newt, you've been in the pressure cooker before. how does this wear on him?

>> that last quote if he meant it is a little strange. he's going to serve out his second term.

>> what's what i just heard him say.

>> until he doesn't.

>> my intention is to be here unless my intention changes and it's not going to change until it changes so trust me. one of the dangers, as you know, is not the initial problem. it's the pressure cooker . it's the things you didn't expect. it's how you handle the problem. you know, as ken langone lecturing you in public. so we'll see. christie's got to relax and understand, this is a marathon. this could go on for three to six to nine months. he's not going to get red of it easily.

>> he's going to have this investigation around for a long while. that's what i was asking the assembly man about.

>> what he has to focus on is the investigation. he probably should not have gone to florida and fulfilled that commitment because in florida, if he's first of all behind a gated community with the wealthy, with ken langone who is also telling "the new york times" at the same time he didn't hire the right people so there's criticism.

>> you're cautioning him about who he's surrounding himself.

>> this is langone who wanted him to run in 2012 . sti think the democrats are probably overdoing it by looking like they're piling on but he's going deal with the investigation and make sure if everything he said is correct, he's home free. but he's got to make sure and there are a lot of e-mails out there.

>> harold, this it is a culture and environment. that stuff does matter in terms of rounding out what you think of him as a leader.

>> no doubt about it. one of the things that strikes me is that he constantly talks about himself and he talks about i and it's never -- i actually was caught up in the traffic in one of the days coming back from somewhere in new jersey that day. and i can't imagine if i faced an emergency situation, a health care situation, are how i would have felt. and the fact that he's yet -- i've not heard him apologize to all the people. it's always i've been asked to do this by the voters and am going to fulfill this obligation. he ran for office. i don't remember any voters begging him to run. don't get me wrong. he ran and was re-elected. he ought to focus on his job and try to answer all the questions. if there's nothing there, he'll be able to prove it.

>> i brought up benghazi p we talk about electro. the senate committee 's report this week about benghazi , that the attack could have been prevented very singular in its criticism of the state department not providing adequate security and then republicans saying look, this all goes back to hillary clinton . there was marco rubio who may be a candidate in 2016 amplifying that point.

>> she has ultimately responsibility, secretary clinton did at the time for the security of our personnel. no one has been held accountable to date. certainly none of the decisionmakers have. as she herself says the buck stops at the starts.

>> nia you start.

>> you have this report that comes out that mentions her once. in some ways it didn't sort of corroborate the main charge that republicans have been making which is that there was a cover-up. i think the discussion of benghazi and we heard it in 2012 , as well, is so far it's been sort of a boutique issue among republicans. it hasn't yet been i think embraced in the same way by the general public . i think it does get to what hillary clinton actually did as secretary of state. right? does she have a sort of counter narrative about -- what's her biggest accomplishment as secretary of state? we don't really know that. at this point, benghazi is standing in for her term as secretary of state.

>> this report corroborated with the state department 's own independent review board did report last year. i think there are big questions about the state department not increasing security, about what we learned that is new in this report that the ham offered ambassador stevens twice more security and he did not want it. he wanted to rely on the local milit militias. that's a tragic error. he was the point person in benghazi during the war. he had way too much confidence in the locals and did not -- he heed the warnings of that i ever own intelligence people. so the breakdown in communications between state and cia is a profound mistake. it does i think critics will say it goes to hillary clinton 's newship of the state department .

>> the republicans are going to want a definitive accounting.

>> i think any republican strategy which tries to nibble at hillary clinton is hopeless. she has been in lick life for 40 years. she was a mcgovern field person in 1972 . i mean, the idea that suddenly we're going to learn something new about hillary clinton .

>> nixon impeachment committee staff.

>> she's a lot like nixon in her capacity to survive forever. so she's a fact. if she gets beaten, she's going to get beaten because obamacare keeps decaying, because we're losing the war in afghanistan and iraq, she's going to get beaten because there are big decisions and she's caught between loyalty to a president whose base is still loyal and the country. now, if that happens, she'll lose. but we're never going to beat her on nit picking smaller issues.

>> the real question is what has been done since to make sure we don't face another predicament like this. do the embassies around the world have the assets and resources they need to protect them?

>> obviously they don't.

>> to me that question has not been answered full ply.

>> a lot of this is a question of how much staying power these have. we're