Chris Christie and Rahm Emanuel have three things in common: aggressively courting reputations for being assholes, showing their mugs on television, and their shared commitment to right-wing politics. Oh, and political careers that ended in complete humiliation and failure. Nobody should have to listen to either of them ever again, but that didn’t stop ABC News from forcing them on us anyway.
On Sunday, the two participated in a panel on ABC’s This Week with National Review editor Rich Lowry, Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, ABC News reporter Mary Bruce, and host George Stephanopoulos. Over the course of the conversation, the Republican former governor of New Jersey and the Democratic former mayor of Chicago and White House chief of staff regaled the panel with tales of Doing Stuff Outside of Cities and talking to people (or not) about Medicare for All.
After Christie trotted out the line that Joe Biden represents “electability” while Elizabeth Warren (and fellow frontrunner Bernie Sanders) represent “purity” in the Democratic primary, Emanuel—a lifelong opponent of the Democratic Party doing anything worth a damn who now works for a Wall Street investment firm—jumped on it. “We have taken a position so far...on basically Medicare for All, which is, ‘We’re going to eliminate 150 million people’s healthcare, and we’re going to provide healthcare for people that have just come over the border,’” he said.
Healthcare plans under Medicare for All wouldn’t be eliminated, but rather replaced. And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Rahm is taking the “migrants don’t deserve healthcare” position here, considering his sterling record on immigration. Undeterred, however, Rahm started talking about his long bike ride:
That is an untenable position for the general election. As you know, George, I just biked around Lake Michigan, nearly 1,000 miles, through Michigan and Wisconsin, two really important states. Nobody at a diner ran at me and said, take my healthcare away. Nobody. This is — this is reckless as it relates to — and you don’t have to take the position to win the primary. And you’re basically literally hindering yourself for the general election.
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Wow. No one in Michigan and Wisconsin came up to you—the former mayor of Chicago, who was so deeply unpopular that you had to retire rather than face an absolute beatdown in a bid for a third term—while you were doing wheelies in a diner or whatever, to talk to you about the intricacies of the American medical system and single-payer? I’m convinced it’s bad now. By the same token, I wonder if anyone in Michigan or Wisconsin asked about Emanuel’s alleged involvement in the Laquan McDonald cover-up, or a rough guesstimate of how many people told him to go fuck himself.
Not to be outdone, Chris Christie had his own diner story, this one pulled straight out of a Salena Zito column. Per the transcript:
CHRISTIE: I was in Central Pennsylvania yesterday and walked into a diner to get something to eat, and a woman came up to me —
EMANUEL: There’s no place in New Jersey?
CHRISTIE: Diners we — Rahm, diners we got. We got no problem there.
Ey! Oh! Neither of us should be able to go out in public without getting fresh Jersey tomatoes thrown at our heads. Ey!
A woman came up to me yesterday and said to me, governor, please tell the president to tell these Democrats to leave my healthcare alone. Now, you know, this was the only thing she said to me, then she said thank you and she walked away. Unsolicited. That’s — that part of Pennsylvania is going to be key to what’s going to happen in Pennsylvania. And if the president holds that coalition and wins Pennsylvania, this election is over.
If it sounds like a single Trump supporter came up to Chris Christie in Pennsylvania and said something dumb, and he then extrapolated that into a sweeping generalization into what’ll win the entire state of Pennsylvania—which includes two major cities and metropolitan areas containing millions of people, as well as Central Pennsylvania—that’s pretty much exactly what happened.
It’s hard to decide which is worse: the sight of two people who have earned nothing but visceral hatred from anyone they’ve ever governed joining hands to shit on giving everyone healthcare, or the fact that ABC gave them a platform to do so. Your “liberal media” at work, everyone.