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New Jersey Paper Says it "Blew" Endorsement of Christie

<p>The Star-Ledger, one of New Jersey’s leading newspapers, on Sunday called its earlier endorsement of Gov. Chris Christie in his re-election bid “regrettable.”</p>
Image: Chris Christie Attends Super Bowl Hand Off Ceremony in Times Square
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a ceremony for the NFL Super Bowl Host Committee on Feb. 1.Christopher Gregory / Getty Images

As a playground bully might say, "No backsies!"

The Star-Ledger, one of New Jersey’s leading newspapers, on Sunday called its endorsement last year of Gov. Chris Christie in his re-election bid “regrettable” after recent scandals have rocked his administration.

“We blew this one,” a column authored by Tom Moran of the Star-Ledger’s editorial board said.

“Yes, we knew Christie was a bully,” Moran wrote. “But we didn’t know his crew was crazy enough to put people’s lives at risk in Fort Lee as a means to pressure the mayor. We didn’t know he would use Hurricane Sandy aid as a political slush fund. And we certainly didn’t know that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.”

In its October endorsement, the paper called Christie “the most remarkable political talent America has seen since Bill Clinton.”

Christie has been on the defensive for weeks, ever since documents surfaced that suggested the closing of lanes on the heavily-trafficked George Washington Bridge last year may have been politically motivated as an act of retribution against Fore Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, who declined to endorse Christie's re-election.

The governor’s administration has also faced allegations by Zimmer, the mayor who claims the administration threatened to withhold Superstorm Sandy relief aid for Hoboken unless she approved a redevelopment project favored by the governor. Zimmer claims Guadagno issued the warning.

“We regard Christie as the most overrated politician in the country, at least until now, a man who is better at talking than governing,” Moran's editorial on Sunday said.

The editorial does give Chrisitie credit for making progress on education in the struggling cities of Nework and Camden as well as reining in pension and health care costs.

And the editorial suggests the paper's endorsement was justifiable because Christie was a better choice than his opponent, New Jersey State Sen. Barbara Buono, a Democrat.

The editorial also goes on to say given a choice in a presidential primary between Republican Senenator Rand Paul of Kentucky and the governor, the paper would endorse Christie.

Attempts by NBC News to obtain a response from Christie on the editorial were not immediately successful.