Morning Joe | January 08, 2013
>>> welcome back to " morning joe ." live look at the capitol. it doesn't mean it's not time to wake up.
>>> looking at new polls, new numbers on chris christie , i think are really interesting given how he's done things. 73% of registered new jersey voters say they approve of the job christie is doing as governor. you can read into those numbers and see there's a diverse amount of support for him, mark halperin .
>> if you're trying to look at him as a national figure. he's done a great job during the storm. democrats, cory booker decided not to run against him. no obvious democrat to run against him, up for re-election and in a towering position and said in an interview if he decided to run for president this time he'd be a lot more ready to run than in 2012 if he took a pass. in a lot more formidable place in terms of the party.
>> that's what i was going to say in terms of being a potential real candidate. i would assume there are high level republicans talking to him, courting him, trying to make it happen. they certainly did last time around. these numbers help in a big way, chuck.
>> he's taken it one step at a time, getting the governorship, getting re-elected matters a lot to him. he's obviously on track to do that. he's the favorite of a lot of republican money, especially in this city in the tri-state region. he will go into an intensely competitive primary which is important. what the party looks like two years from now is still pretty much up for grabs. there are a lot of different factions within the party. his appeal could be crossover. there's a lot of people in the tea party factions who were attracted to him in 2012 . whether he will continue to be that candidate or others will emerge, that's an open question .
>> i was going to ask you jr, does his relationship and praise for president obama during the hurricane, his coming out the other day an trashing very publicly, john boehner , by name, does that hurt him long term or is that a better place for him to be?
>> that is the right question. the last segment we had talking about the strength of the republican party being in the primary and important groups, picking underdogs who align themselves ideologically with those groups, can he fit in that mode? does he play in that sandbox, too? he's better when it's a big issue, bipartisan, embraces democrats and republicans to get things done where i think the mainstream of the country is. at the end of the day , only two people in the republican party warrant a conversation, jeb bush and chris christie . and i think you put mario rubio after that. it's interesting to see him do well bigger than the party and politics today.
>> many argue he fits the mold today. david brooks , why hagel was picked. the bottom line. chuck hagel has been nominated to supervise this generation long process of defense cutbacks. if a democratic president is going to slash defense he probably wants a republican at the pentagon to give him cover and probably wants a decorated war hero to boot. all the charges about israel and iran are secondary. the real question is how will he begin this long cutting process? how will he balance modernizing the military and cutting current personnel. how will he balance defense straelt with say 455,000 fewer service members? how will he balance the military decline. if members of congress don't want america to decline military, they have no one to blame but voters and themselves.
>> i think that is a smart take from david brooks , certainly is this case, as a management task, managing the pentagon is a monstrous job and managing it at this time is a particularly monstrous job. the argument there is an argument why a lot of democrats pick republicans to help them give them political coverage doing tough things at the pentagon and applies to chuck hagel as much. it raises the question, will he be confirmed, does he have a lot of management experience? leon panetta had a lot of management experience and gates had a lot of management experience and chuck hagel doesn't have that.
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