Meet the Press   |  January 26, 2014

Why the Democrats Hate Chris Christie

A Meet the Press roundtable examines the threat Chris Christie poses to the Democratic Party.

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

>> up what's going on on the republican side ? we talked about mike huckabee and rand paul trying to bring bill clinton into that equation. what are all of -- how do all of the pieces in the republican party start to fit together here that tells you about who has an edge as you think about 2016 ?

>> yeah, i think it's challenging when you listen to some of the crazy stuff you hear coming out of some of these conferences. i think this is why i find christie a compelling figure. it's interesting in the piece last week on obama when they -- there's always the constant comparison to lyndon johnson and the need to be down and dirty, rough and capable, a technical expert in the legislative process to make change happen. the very things that get governor christie in trouble are the things that are extraordinarily appealing to the public from the perspective of maybe someone not just talking about change but has kind of the roughness and the lyndon johnson -like qualities to make it happen could be attractive.

>> at a time when everybody hates politics, he hates politics too outside washington, tell it the way it is. on the other hand, is that perceived by some people as too much and the scandal is the narrative of too much. you know, i don't think he knew. but we're going to have the mother of all investigations and he's going to be back in a strong position, not a lock by any means. he's underrated now but he'll be a player.

>> mike, you did a lot of work in new jersey though.

>> yes.

>> are you shocked that thing like this take place in is new jersey politics?

>> this is a culture of new jersey that you get the sense that he participated in.

>> which undercuts politician fighter.

>> let's back up to your questions about polarization. why was a democrat so daunted or worried about chris christie ? why did they want to see him damaged? it's because he was able to transcend party. you look at the new jersey results, he attracted people from traditionally democratic-leaning groups and registered democrats. now when you look post scandal, where is the softening of his support? it's among those groups democrats, independents.

>> i want a moment of levity. as we look at the fun we think about the past. mitt romney coming to a place with the new documentary where he also slow jammed the news with jimmy fallon .

>> better than the documentary.

>> inject health care into the fight. can we just show that clip?

>> of course the president will also be discussing his health care plan with many hoping to hear his solutions to some of the issues that have affected its rollout. such as lower than expected enrollment and employees getting dropped from their existing plans, not to mention an obamacare website that has been riddled with technical problems and glitches.

>> glitch, please.

>> that was a pretty edgy bit they did. where was that mitt romney ?

>> he's a very funny guy in real life .

>> it's a great movie.

>> you get a three-dimensional picture of him. these guys are never the character ca tour the campaign makes them on either side. the movie is a good example of how buyer beware of the narrative you're often forced by coverage.

>> bob dole in '97, that was the problem.

>> difficult politics on the family in particular on the family. i have a thick skin. i've been called everything in the book. it's my mother that you know, calls up and says, why did you not show up? i'm like mom, i have a 97% voting record. what are you talking about? so it really is the family that suffers. it's a tough thing to go through a campaign.

>> i was lucky enough as a cub reporter 1994 to cover the mitt romney , ted kennedy race and you got inside that family in a very different way and you sort of saw that droll kind of self-mocking sense of humor and that sense of perspective that's very unusual. that's the first time in that documentary where i've seen it again.

>> when i spent time with him on the campaign trail, what came through to me is how tough this was for ann romney . she had been through it before but she felt stung by this. you can't overstate how tough it is for the people who love these men and women.

>> anybody thinking about running for president, you should watch the documentary. it's more important for a candidate prospective candidate to understand.

>> romney gossip out. he loves the movie oh brower where art thou we did a rally in the campaign as kind of an homage to the movie. he's a very