Ailes Reportedly "Fell Hard" For Chris Christie -- So Did Fox News

››› ››› TODD GREGORY & KAREN FAMIGHETTI

New York magazine reports that Fox News CEO Roger Ailes "fell hard" for Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and recently "encouraged him to jump into" the Republican presidential race. Fox News similarly "fell hard" for Christie, with on-air figures lavishing praise on him, asking him about a presidential bid, and giving him ample airtime in the run-up to his 2009 election.

New York Mag: Ailes "Encouraged" Christie To Run For President

New York: Ailes "Fell Hard For Christie." From New York magazine:

A few months ago, Ailes called Chris Christie and encouraged him to jump into the race. Last summer, he'd invited Christie to dinner at his upstate compound along with Rush Limbaugh, and like much of the GOP Establishment, he fell hard for Christie, who nevertheless politely turned down Ailes's calls to run. Ailes had also hoped that David Petraeus would run for president, but Petraeus too has decided to sit this election out, choosing to stay on the counterterrorism front lines as the head of Barack Obama's CIA. The truth is, for all the antics that often appear on his network, there is a seriousness that underlies Ailes's own politics. He still speaks almost daily with George H. W. Bush, one of the GOP's last great moderates, and a war hero, which especially impresses Ailes. [New York, 5/22/11]

Fox Figures Gush Over Christie, Ask Him About Presidential Candidacy

Doocy On Christie: "I Love That Guy." From Fox & Friends:

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): A heated exchange between a teacher and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

CHRISTIE [video clip]: What you want to do is put on a show and giggle every time I talk. Well, then, I have no interest in answering your question.

CARLSON: But in the end, some teachers came to the governor's defense. We'll tell you why.

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): I love that guy. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/13/10]

Varney: Christie Is "My Hero." From Fox & Friends:

CARLSON: I thought he wanted to stick around for the rapper story.

STUART VARNEY (Fox Business host): You throwing me out?

CARLSON: I guess not.

VARNEY: Governor Christie's going to be taking my place shortly. My hero. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/23/10]

Cavuto: Christie Has "Become A Bit Of A National Sensation, To Put It Mildly." From an interview host Neil Cavuto conducted with Christie on Your World with Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: In the meantime, tough love from the gov. Only, this just ain't any gov and this ain't just tough love. For screaming public workers in New Jersey, this is war.

They are going bonkers today after Governor Chris Christie all but told them the party's over, guys, and he is cracking down on their pensions, first by suspending future cost-of-living adjustments, then rescinding a 9 percent benefit increase granted back in 2001, then increasing retirement ages and even changing the formula for which a lot of those benefits are set.

The government is also calling for state workers to kick in more for their pension and their health care benefits, common in the private sector, virtually unknown in New Jersey's public sector.

Well, let us just say this news has not exactly got state workers feeling misty for Christie, the teachers union the first out the gate promising to fight the governor.

Reaction now from the governor.

Joining me exclusive from Edison, New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie.

[...]

CAVUTO: You know, when you have these rallies, Governor -- I have been to one the last time I had the pleasure of speaking with you -- you invite anyone in, right? And you know that -- that you can get some folks who really hate you.

And I was at one where there was a teacher who was no big fan of yours. I know, this last week or so, I think there was another teacher who was browbeating you. You browbeat her back.

How does that go with these events of yours? Is it just anyone come in? Because, now, after this union thing today, it could get very messy.

CHRISTIE: Listen, anybody who shows up at our town hall meetings can come in until the room is filled.

And, yesterday, we had to turn people away because we had reached capacity. Today, we had a room that was absolutely packed with people. Some people ask questions that are supportive and some people don't.

But, in terms of how it goes, this is Jersey, Neil. I mean, you know, I expect arguments. I expect back-and-forth. And I engage in it. And I enjoy it, because that's the way we're going to make our state a better place, is to have that kind of open, active dialogue back and forth with people.

And I am happy to stand up and defend my views and what I'm doing on behalf of the people of the state. So, that's why I do these town halls.

CAVUTO: All right. Well, they are entertaining and informative.

Governor Christie, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you very, very much.

CHRISTIE: Neil, thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it.

CAVUTO: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he's become a bit of a national sensation, to put it mildly. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 9/15/10 (transcript from Nexis)]

Beck: Christie Is "One Of The Only Guys" I Would "Vote For For President." From Fox & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): All these governors are standing up, Democrats and Republicans, saying, "We can't afford the pension situation." So you're telling me that a politician with the courage to stand up and say, "That doesn't work," can get elected and re-elected?

GLENN BECK: Chris Christie. Chris Christie. Chris Christie. Chris Christie is a guy -- Chris Christie is one of the only guys I see that I would today vote for for president of the United States. This guy has courage beyond belief. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/10/10]

Hannity: Christie Is "Turning Heads And Garnering National Attention," Asks If He'll Consider Presidential Run. From Hannity:

SEAN HANNITY: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is turning heads and garnering national attention. He is taking on the special interests, he's standing up to the unions, and he's doing something very rare in politics these days. He's actually following through on the promises he's made on the campaign trail that helped get him elected. And he now joins me in studio.

Governor, welcome back to the show. Good to --

CHRISTIE: Great to be here, Sean.

HANNITY: Wow, the skin -- Jon Corzine, eat your heart out.

CHRISTIE: [laughs] We've lost a little weight.

HANNITY: He took some shots at you at the campaign. That was pretty cheap, as far as I was concerned.

CHRISTIE: It was pretty cheap, and he wouldn't even admit that he was doing it. But that's OK. And now -- I've got four kids between 7 and 16, so it's time for me to get in shape. I've got to be there for them.

HANNITY: All right, well, first of all, congratulations. And as you have declared, the bluest of blue states, you achieved what many thought were impossible. And that is a Republican victory. You ran on fiscal responsibility, on strong leadership, on taking on unions.

How'd you pull it off?

[...]

HANNITY: You won't run -- I saw Cavuto, he's pressing you. You won't even consider the idea of maybe being -- running for president one day?

CHRISTIE: No.

HANNITY: Won't even consider it.

CHRISTIE: No.

HANNITY: But your mind is open, maybe it'll change.

CHRISTIE: Listen. You know what?

HANNITY: I'm giving you a hard time. Don't answer my stupid question.

CHRISTIE: But, you know, listen, you met my wife tonight.

HANNITY: Yes.

CHRISTIE: You convince her.

HANNITY: Miss Christie, do you have a moment? Come on over. All right. Good to see you, Governor. Best of luck honestly in turning the state around. We wish you the best.

CHRISTIE: Thank you. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

HANNITY: Appreciate it. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/30/10]

Beck: Christie "Tells The Truth" About "Radicals" Trying To "Collapse The System." From Glenn Beck:

BECK: The progressives, the unions, the communists, the Marxists, they're doing a bang-up job to the entire planet. You keep listening to them and not to voices of reason, and we're in trouble. You know, when you hear Chris Christie speak, you may not like him that much, you may think, "Oh, he's had too many Ho Hos -- well, that's why I like him.

You listen to this man, and it's common sense. It's really hard to argue with because he talks about numbers.

The unions and progressives hate him because he tells the truth. He exposes what many radicals are trying to do -- Cloward and Piven, collapse the system. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 6/23/10]

Beck On Christie: "He's Amazing, Isn't He?" From Glenn Beck:

BECK: We have a studio audience here from New Jersey today. And I'm sorry for the whole New Jersey thing. Although -- look there. He's like, "What, are you taking -- you talking to New Jersey? You talking to me? Huh?"

Chris Christie, what do you think of -- he's amazing, isn't he?

[applause]

I mean, I haven't seen a guy -- I haven't seen a politician who's actually like -- I mean, he's like -- I don't even know how to act. He's doing what he said he would do. It's weird.

Oh, he'll be sleeping with the fishes soon. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/18/10]

Doocy: "Some" Say Christie Would "Make A Great President." From Fox & Friends:

DOOCY: Sure if -- you know, I know some have suggested you would make a great president. If you were in that chair today, what would you do immediately?

CHRISTIE: I wouldn't be in that chair. So, I --

DOOCY: Well, I know. Theoretically, Governor.

CHRISTIE: No, no, no. See, this is what happens. You get me going down this theoretical, hypothetical road, and that's what people --

DOOCY: Well, give him a hand. I mean, you are doing very well in New Jersey. He needs help.

CHRISTIE: I think you just have to talk to people like adults. I really do. I think the country understands. I saw yesterday -- I was on the boardwalk at the Jersey shore with my family. And I can't tell you how many people came up to me and were so dispirited, out of confidence because they don't feel like tomorrow is necessarily going to be better than yesterday. I think you have to talk directly to people, tell them we know we've got huge problems. Let's start working together to dig out. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/7/10]

Bret Baier Delivers Fawning Profile Of Christie. From Special Report with Bret Baier:

BAIER: Of all the potential candidates we have profiled on our "12 in 2012" series, Chris Christie might be the most reluctant. The New Jersey governor has joked that only extreme measures would convince people to believe him when he says he's not interested in running. Tonight, the many people nevertheless describe him as one of the party's rising stars.

[begin video clip]

CHRISTIE: I said, "You punch them, I punch you." And that's what we're doing in New Jersey.

BAIER (voice-over): It's that fiery speech, with his tell-it-like-it-is attitude that helped get New Jersey Governor Chris Christie elected in the first place.

[...]

BAIER: Christie's tendency to stand up to the liberal establishment has ignited a national grassroots following that is begging Christie to throw his hat in the presidential ring.

LARRY SABATO (University of Virginia professor): I think Chris Christie is so popular with the Tea Party because they like both his style and his substance. He has a very forthright style. He doesn't hesitate to confront critics and tell them exactly what he thinks, whether they're the press or citizens.

BAIER: In fact, privately, Tea Party leaders say he's the politician they most want to draft in 2012.

SABATO: They would love to see him run. Christie has appropriately concluded, at least for the time being, that it's not in his interest to do so. It's amazing how many public officials are perfectly happy to abandon the position they've got to run for the higher one.

CHRISTIE: Listen, I've said I don't want to. I'm not going to. There's zero chance I will. I don't feel like I'm ready to be president. I don't want to run for president. I don't have a fire in the belly to run for president, but yet everybody still thinks, "Well, he's left the door open a little bit."

BAIER: Christie was all set to sit down for an interview with us, but pulled out, perhaps to make sure no one can accuse him of even looking like he's considering a run.

CHRISTIE: Short of suicide, I don't really know what I'd have to do to convince you people that I'm not running. I'm not running.

BAIER: But try as he might, Christie is still seen as a rising leader who could reshape the GOP.

CHRISTIE: We need to start taking our country back not in 2012, not by focusing on who our nominee for president is going to be. It is put up or shut up time for our party. [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 11/19/10]

Fox Figures Gave Christie Almost 37 Minutes Of Airtime In Run-Up To 2009 Election

  • Christie on Fox News. Christie appeared on the October 26, 2009, edition of Hannity, the October 27, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends, and the November 2, 2009, edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto, for a total of 18 minutes 47 seconds.
  • Christie on radio. Christie appeared on the October 27, 2009, and November 2, 2009, editions of Fox News host Sean Hannity's radio show for a total of 18 minutes 6 seconds. [Media Matters, 11/2/09]
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