The Buzz

TheChat: Chris Christie admits he wasn’t ready to be president four years ago


Good morning.

▪ “So I get lots of people who come to us and say, `Oh, you should have done it four years ago. And I tell you one thing I know for sure, I wasn’t ready to be president four years ago. And so the worst thing wasn’t not running; it was if I had run and won already,” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speculating about his readiness to be president in 2013.

Christie’s point was that the Bridgegate scandal has not necessarily placed him in more difficult political shape now than four years ago.

▪ “I'm not sure it was true or not true. I'm saying it was timed during an important issue for our caucus.” — Missouri state Rep. Eric Burlison, a Springfield Republican, blaming The Star for publishing a story about Speaker John Diehl’s text conversations with a Capitol intern as lawmakers were considering anti-union legislation.

That Rep. Burlison’s ire would be aimed at the newspaper instead of the speaker is a tried-and-true tactic. It’s right there on page 237 of the how-to-handle-a-scandal handbook. Truth is, more cooperation from the speaker would have resulted in the story running weeks ago.

▪ “Kansas already has one of the most regressive tax structures in the country and raising the sales taxes would only make it worse.” — Kansas state Rep. Tom Burroughs, a Kansas City, Kan., Democrat, on a proposal to raise the state sales tax to 6.85 percent.

The proposal, which passed the House tax committee Wednesday, is aimed at closing a $400 million budget gap in the state budget. The measure passed “without recommendation,” a rare move aimed at minimizing political damage.

▪ “I’ve noticed in his tenure here in the Senate, but also as secretary of state, that he sometimes interprets things as he wants them to be rather than what they really are.” — Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Republican, speaking about Secretary of State John Kerry.

The two used to be fast friends. In fact, McCain introduced Kerry at the start of his confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But now, relations between the two have soured as Kerry goes about dealing with the world’s crises.