The left's "flirtation" with Chris Christie is over, the New York Times' Michael M. Grynbaum wrote of the New Jersey governor's appearance on Thursday night's "Daily Show." It began with lighthearted banter about Bruce Springsteen -- "We would both very much like Bruce Springsteen to hug us" -- but turned into an occasionally touchy discussion about whether Christie's acceptance of federal assistance during Hurricane Sandy didn't mesh with his conservative politics.
Stewart: The week before the storm you were out there saying, 'President Obama couldn't lead his way out of a paper bag with a fistful of 20s.' And then right after the storm was over you were like, 'This man is a leader.' Doesn't that tell you something about the game?"
Christie: What it tells me is that people have different skill sets at different times.
Stewart: So he wasn't a leader until you needed leadership.
Maybe until he was presented with a stark opportunity to lead.
Stewart then asked how Christie could welcome federal aid during a statewide crisis, but reject legislation for a state health care exchange.
Stewart: If you have cancer and you don't have health insurance, that's Hurricane Sandy.
Christie: Not having a state-based exchange is not the equivalent of not having coverage, because you could have a partnership or a federal exchange.
But Christie still got in a few jokes between tense moments:
Stewart: You and Hillary are going to have a hell of a battle in 2016 People are so starved. The beautiful thing about the Republican Party now is it's so starved for leadership like that.
Christie: I think it's really unfair that you look at me and say starved at the same time.
Comedy Central posted the interview in three parts, but most of the meaty conversation takes place in part 2. Watch below: