Rove goes after Christie critic Strickland for his own staff problem

Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland (D) said Sunday that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) still needs to answer questions about the "Bridgegate" scandal despite firing his deputy chief of staff, Bridgett Anne Kelly, over an e-mail suggesting she helped orchestrate a bridge closure for political payback.

"He didn't ask her why she sent that e-mail or who urged her or told her to send that e-mail. That's just unbelievable," Strickland said on "Fox News Sunday." "I cannot believe that a governor -- and I've been one, and I've had a close staff, and we worked together on a daily basis -- why didn't he ask her why she sent that e-mail, and try to find out why and who told her to do that? She obviously didn't do that on her own."

Strickland's comments drew a challenge from Republican strategist Karl Rove, who said the Strickland should explain an alleged leak of Joe the Plumber's private information by one of his political appointees during the 2008 presidential election.

"Is Gov. Strickland, to adopt his standard, either incompetent or lying simply because it was his appointee who did these things?" Rove asked. "Let's step back and look at this, let the process go forward and be careful to throw stones like Gov. Strickland is throwing at Gov. Christie."

Strickland countered that no information was leaked to the media and that the official in question ended up leaving his administration.

"Things happen, you hold people responsible, and Gov. Christie has held Bridgette Kelly responsible," he said. "But we still do not know who told Bridget Kelly to do what she did."

(Clip above courtesy of National Review.)

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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