Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Christie and Paul: Pander First, Think Later

Sorry boys, a pander too far?

Important fact: Both Chris Christie and Rand Paul had years earlier pandered to the anti-vaxxer crew. So it's not surprising that they, in the context of a presidential bid, pandered first and thought later.

It actually wasn't funny. Christie and Paul weighed it with tacit support for choice for parents to not vaccinate, this at the height of a raging measles epidemic that made their pandering all the more dangerous. Then they both tried to walk back their blunders. Rand Paul did so in the most blatant of ways.

See, I really like vaccinations. Forget my "profound mental disorders" comment.

Sorry, Rand, it doesn't work that way. You overshadowed Chris Christie's gaffe to the extent it appeared he'd get away with it, but, no, the nest was already stirred and in the worst way. The Washington Post editorial board brought the hammer down in an op-ed subtitled "Rand Paul and Chris Christie raise doubts about their fitness for higher office." Ouch.
TWO POTENTIAL Republican presidential candidates, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have made irresponsible comments about vaccines at a time when measles has reappeared in the United States. Their remarks call into question their judgment and their fitness for higher office.
WaPo itself panders to conservatives in very much the same way that "Meet the Press" has so many more GOPers on its show than Dems. This time, though, they ripped into two certified 2016 candidates. It wasn't pretty, and it shouldn't have been. As gaffes go, these may have legs.

The Week's Ryan Cooper added a special smackdown to Christie's personnel jacket, thought he tosses Rand Paul's chicanery in for good measure.

I doubt the pair will exit the GOP candidate clown car because of this one. And to the rest of the field's credit, they appear to have been wiser. Rubio, Jindal, Cruz, Carson, and others dodged this bullet with relatively unequivocal statements in favor of vaccinations and the science involved.

So, yes, Christie and Paul have some 'splainin' to do, and it might not be enough this time.


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