Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour defended Gov. Chris Christie in a lengthy interview for “taking the bull by the horns” after a week of explosive revelations that top Christie aides knew about plans to cause a massive traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge last year.
Barbour also went on the attack, scolding Christie’s Democratic critics and the “liberal media elite” for sensationalizing the traffic jam to imperil the New Jersey governor’s political future.
The Mississippi Republican — one of Christie’s political mentors — said President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have gotten a free pass after their own political scandals in the last five years. Christie, on the other hand, is being walloped in the press unfairly because he is a Republican, he said.
Christie “acquitted himself very well” at a two-hour news conference on Thursday, Barbour said. The governor said he knew nothing of the bridge caper but apologized to New Jersey residents for it and announced he had let go of two top aides involved in the scandal, deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly and his two-time campaign manager Bill Stepien.
“First of all, he stepped up to the plate and took responsibility,” Barbour told The Star-Ledger on Friday night. “The American people are dying for that after five years of President Obama always saying it’s someone else’s fault.