Blunt and blustery, New Jersey Governor and GOP presidential hopeful Chris Christie is not one to mince words, but he might well have met his match in the editorial board of The New York Times. In a biting op-ed piece published on Thursday, the prominent periodical told Christie in no uncertain terms that his campaign is doomed and that he needs to turn his attention back to his gubernatorial duties. The title of the article summed things up with all the tact of a 30-pound sledgehammer: “Governor Christie, Time To Go Home.”
While newspapers and media outlets regularly endorse and criticize political candidates, it is important to note that the New York Times is regarded by many as one of the most influential and widely-read news sources in the world. A 2013 report by The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism cited the New York Times as the second most-read newspaper online, narrowly edged out by U.K.-based The Daily Mail. In terms of print circulation, the paper ranked third behind the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Moreover, the New York Times is widely circulated in Christie’s home state of New Jersey.
Indeed, the New York Times used its bully pulpit to blast Chris Christie on a number of issues, including the candidate’s lackluster debate performance on Wednesday night. One general criticism noted that Christie said “little of substance” during his eight minutes of speaking time during the CNBC event. The paper also took issue with Christie’s closing statements, suggesting that his record as governor of the Garden State didn’t match up the sentiments he expressed from the podium.
“As for his parting pitch that he’s ‘deadly serious about changing this culture’ of government, well, his constituents in New Jersey know better.”
The New York Times also offered a laundry list of public controversies that have dogged Chris Christie during his time in office, indicating that a stint in the White House would likely bring about further shenanigans. Citing the state’s budget crisis, “Bridgegate” and other scandals, the paper’s editorial board questioned whether Christie is fit for office.
The devastating op-ed piece from the New York Times is not the first time in this election cycle that a big-name newspaper has leveled harsh criticism at a GOP candidate. Not surprisingly, frontrunner Donald Trump has garnered a good deal of negative feedback from various and sundry media outlets from the very moment that he launched his campaign. But perhaps the most eyebrow-raising evaluation of a candidate thus far was directed at Marco Rubio when the Fort Lauderdale paper, Sun-Sentinel, urged him to resign from his job in the United States Senate.
The Sun-Sentinel piece slammed Marco Rubio for reports that the senator has privately expressed feelings of “hate” for his elected position, noting that Rubio has missed more votes than any other senator this year due to his involvement in the presidential campaign. The paper also listed Rubio’s annual salary as $174,000 plus an additional $10,000 subsidy for health care.
“Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We’ve got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government.
“If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it.”
It’s worth noting that the Sun-Sentinel actually endorsed Marco Rubio when he first ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010.
Despite the barbs of big-name newspapers, neither Marco Rubio nor Chris Christie appear likely to change their current paths at any point in the near future. Rubio sidestepped a question about the Sun-Sentinel critique during the most recent GOP debate, and rebuffed a direct challenge from Jeb Bush regarding his voting record. As for Chris Christie, he has appeared on a number of television shows this week including CBS This Morning, telling interviewers that he is in the race to the very end.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]