The worst thing about trying to analyze a Republican debate is the challenge of looking past the candidates' brazen dishonesty. If the GOP presidential hopefuls were disqualified for deliberate deceptions, the event would end quite quickly and there just wouldn't be much to cover.
And so we're left in the awkward position of evaluating candidates' debate performances with a cloud hanging overhead. As ridiculous as this may sound, pundits are left to wonder, "Aside from all the lying, how did the candidates do?"
Donald Trump lied about tariffs. Jeb Bush lied about whether Americans are better off than they were when President Obama took office. Marco Rubio lied about Benghazi, ISIS, Hillary Clinton, and the Affordable Care Act.
And then there's Chris Christie. Vox's Dylan Matthews noted this morning that the New Jersey was "just consistently, repeatedly, brazenly lying."
Now Christie says, "I didn't support Sonia Sotomayor." Here is a direct quote from Christie in 2009: "I support her appointment to the Supreme Court and urge the Senate to keep politics out of the process and confirm her nomination." Christie claims, "Common Core has been eliminated in New Jersey." Nope: almost all Common Core standards are still in place. Christie says, "I never wrote a check to Planned Parenthood." Here's Christie quoted in 1994: "I support Planned Parenthood privately with my personal contribution and that should be the goal of any such agency, to find private donations. It's also no secret that I am pro-choice." (Christie, for his part, now claims this was a misquote.)
And really, those are just some of the more obvious examples. There were others.
Each line was delivered with great confidence and certainty, as if Christie fully believed what he was saying -- and expected the audience to take him at his word.
A few months ago, the Newark Star-Ledger's editorial board said the New Jersey governor "lies like the rest of us brush our teeth, as a matter of routine." There's no reason Christie has to keep proving the newspaper right.