On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell teed up correspondent Rehema Ellis to blast New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over the blizzard clean-up effort in the state: “Tell us about the clean-up, because Rehema, we've already seen that Chris Christie, the governor, flew out early yesterday saying all was fine there. How is it in New Jersey?”
Ellis slammed the Republican: “Well, they would contradict what the Governor is saying. It's not all fine here. In fact, I just spoke with one of the administrators of West Wildwood borough and he said – he described the conditions, Andrea, as catastrophic.”
Following the report from Ellis, Mitchell made it clear she was trying to make the snowstorm a campaign issue for Christie in the presidential race: “And it's a good thing, Rehema, for Chris Christie, that he is running in New Hampshire, where he is today....and not on the ballot in New Jersey right now, because it looks like quite a mess there.”
On Friday, NBC’s Today was eager to tout preemptive attacks on Christie for possibly not returning to New Jersey prior to the storm, as fill-in co-host Willie Geist proclaimed:
And Republican presidential hopeful and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie under some heat this morning with most of his state under a blizzard watch. Governor Christie has decided to remain on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. He says he's confident state officials can handle it. And if the situation changes, he says he will return home immediately. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio now weighing in just this morning, saying Christie, quote, “Needs to come back.”
Even though Christie did return to his state to manage the response, NBC seemed ready to hammer him no matter what.