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Huntsman on Christie: How could he not know?

MANCHESTER, NH - JANUARY 10: Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (C) celebrates on stage with (L to R) his son in law Jeff Livingston, daughter Abby Livingston, wife Mary Kaye Huntsman, daughters Liddy, and Mary Anne during a primary night rally at the Black Brimmer restaurant on January 10, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. According to early results, Huntsman, who skipped the Iowa caucuses to campaign in New Hampshire, finished third behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) in the first in the nation primary election. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images) Jon Huntsman clebrating his third-place finish in the 2012 New Hampshire  GOP primary. (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Former Utah governor, ambassador to China and GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, appearing Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” cranked up the heat on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over the four-day traffic mess in Fort Lee now dubbed “Bridgegate.”

Christie “is a pretty impressive figure” and “would be a great candidate eventually for the presidency,” Huntsman began. Then this:

“But I have to tell you that having run a governor’s office — and Joe (Former West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, also on the show) has done the same thing, and every governor’s office, whether your state is large or small, it’s pretty much organized the same way,” he said. “Your neighbor is a chief of staff, and your deputy chief of staff is just right down the hall. And everybody knows, day in and day out, what’s playing out in your state. Down to, you know, a minuscule details.”


And then this: “So there — there’s something here that just does not connect fully in terms of how communication was handled and the issues were put forward to (Christie),” Huntsman went on.

“I — I hope that part is clarified,” Huntsman said — What? A two-hour news conference wasn’t enough? — “because I know how governors’ offices run. I ran one. Joe knows how governors’ offices run. He ran one too. I think any governor would probably tell you the same thing about how tight those internal staffs are and the extent of the detail that flows to the governor’s office.”

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.



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Al Kamen · January 14, 2014

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