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Broadcasting pioneer Stan Hubbard impressed with Gov. Christie at weekend meet-and-greet

REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Stan Hubbard: “Christie comes across as a very warm and genuine person.”

Twin Cities broadcasting pioneer Stan Hubbard (and my former employer) left a weekend meet-and-greet with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “very impressed” with what he heard.

Stan Hubbard
Stan Hubbard

Hubbard and his wife attended a gathering Sunday in Palm Beach, Fla., hosted by Ken Langone, founder of Home Depot and a longtime Hubbard friend and business associate.

The Palm Beach event and weekend appearances elsewhere in Florida were Christie’s first ventures out of state since his Jan. 9 marathon news conference in which he apologized for his administration’s involvement in orchestrating a massive traffic jam as political retaliation.

Hubbard joined a group of about 100 Republican donors, but this event, he said, “wasn’t a fundraiser” — just an opportunity to learn more about Christie’s brand of politics.

“Christie comes across as a very warm and genuine person,” Hubbard said.

Christie convinced him that the governor’s denial of prior knowledge of the Fort Lee traffic jams is true.

“He answered questions directly,” Hubbard said. Christie is too smart, Hubbard suggested, to get involved in “the stupidest thing I can imagine.”

As for a presidential run, Christie said he hadn’t made up his mind but did speak of a national agenda, Hubbard said.

“He talked about what has to be done,” he said. “We’ve got to cut entitlements, have means-testing for Medicare and Social Security.”

Hubbard, who has contributed to both Republicans and Democrats, said, “My powder is dry” on who should be the next Republican presidential nominee. “Who knows? Maybe the Democrats could come up with a good common-sense candidate,” he said.

But Christie, clearly, made a positive impression on Hubbard.

“He’s very smart, and he’s able to communicate,” he said. “I can see why he became governor of New Jersey.”

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Comments (28)

  1. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 01/22/2014 - 10:28 am.

    This is a perfect example of the kind of access/celebrity “journalism” practiced at MinnPost. The Flexian Brucato is doing damage control for Hubbard and Christie. Here’s what was reported by Politico in regards to Hubbard’s comments on Christie, which Brucato *somehow* didn’t bother to report here:

    “He has got a big problem, because perception is everything — perception is reality,” said Stan Hubbard, a billionaire Minnesota media mogul who is flying in for Sunday’s event. “I’m sure he’s an honorable, decent guy, but I wonder how the hell did he let this happen. I mean, who did he hire? What kind of idiot? It’s just ridiculous. How stupid.”

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/22/2014 - 10:44 am.

    Is it surprising that Hubbard, local news-mogul, is ignoring the newly constructed Hoboken exit on the Christie bridge to the White House?

    Christie, last “unconventional politician” hope of conventional Republicans. Cue the T party.

    Langone (“hey, Pope, be nice to the rich!!”) fits very nicely into the “We’ve got to cut entitlements, have means-testing for Medicare and Social Security” crowd. After all, when he already doesn’t pay his workers enough or provide sufficient hours for benefits, the only possible cost savings for him now is to cut the government programs that subsidize the sub-living wage of his employees. He says, “can’t afford it in the front door, can’t afford it in the back door, either!!”

    Christie, man of the plutocrats! Langone # 260, Hubbard # 252 on the Forbes list.

  3. Submitted by Mac Riddel on 01/22/2014 - 11:04 am.

    A Republican talking about Republicans

    He’s at a very exclusive Republic donor event, but you prominently mention Hubbard has contributed to both parties. How much to each I wonder? I’m guessing he gave very little to Democrats early in his career and a ton more to Republican causes.

    After a few minutes of research, turns out Hubbard donated at least $93724 to Republicans in 2012 and a paltry $710 to Democrats. Yeah, this guy is firmly in the Republican camp and what he says about Christie means very little to the rest of us.

  4. Submitted by Terry Hayes on 01/22/2014 - 11:27 am.

    Nice job, Cindy

    Did you post this as a journalist or as a political strategist?
    p.s Medicare and Social Security are not ‘entitlements’. You make your boss look bad by printing such asinine quotes.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/22/2014 - 03:45 pm.


      “Originally, the term “entitlement” in the United States was used to identify federal programs that, like Social Security and Medicare, got the name because workers became “entitled” to their benefits by paying into the system. In recent years the meaning has been used to refer also to benefits, like those of the food stamps program, which people become eligible to receive without paying into a system.”

  5. Submitted by Lora Jones on 01/22/2014 - 12:12 pm.

    Ditto what Mac said

    Hubbard is about as right wing as it’s possible to get and still maintain some semblance of a “mainstream” republican. I suspect the whopping $720 he donated to democratic candidates was a) very local and low on the food chain (dog-catcher or city council person) and b) precipitated by the fact that one or more of his offices are in democratic-leaning areas and are forced to deal with democratic officials because his brand of politico doesn’t stand a snowballs chance of being elected.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/22/2014 - 03:47 pm.

      Clear motive

      Actually, his motive for donating to a Democrat is pretty clear. For a paltry $710–roughly equivalent to what he can find digging in his sofa cushions–this friend of the Kochs can be described in the media as someone “who has contributed to both Republicans and Democrats.” See? He’s not a blinkered partisan at all!

  6. Submitted by Roy Everson on 01/22/2014 - 12:12 pm.

    Why stop at means testing? Poor houses would be much cheaper.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/22/2014 - 03:48 pm.

      Means testing

      Why should Bill Gates or Warren Buffet get a social security check or be signed up for Medicare? When billionaires waive their right (and it is a right, currently) to these benefits, maybe the program would gain a little more solvency.

      Just a thought.

      • Submitted by Lance Groth on 01/23/2014 - 05:39 pm.


        Actually, Warren Buffett has said the same explicitly, and I’d be very surprised if Gates didn’t agree. They’d likely both agree with lifting the payroll ceiling too.

        The rub, of course, is where do you draw the line? We can all agree that billionaires don’t need it. Most of us can probably agree that millionaires don’t either. But short of that, where do we cut it off? It does change social security from an insurance policy to something else though, and means that the rich would contribute to something from which they receive no direct benefits, which those on the right would likely object to (yes?). Unless the idea is to exempt them from contributing as well, which won’t help program solvency.

        So, it does start to get complicated. Personally, I have no problem with means testing, depending on where the line is drawn.

  7. Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 01/22/2014 - 12:13 pm.

    This is the puffiest piece of puff that ever puffed.

    Cyndy Brucato can and does actually provide good insight into Republican party politics. This is obviously NOT one of those times.

    Quite frankly, this feels like a 3rd grade book report that was written on the bus 20 minutes before class.

  8. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 01/22/2014 - 12:51 pm.


    Here is something I have never understood. Instead of making cuts in things people are entitled to, why not make them in areas where there are no such entitlements? Such as tax breaks for the rich?

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/22/2014 - 03:52 pm.

      No such entitlement?

      to their own money? A “tax break” simply allows you to keep more of your own money. Food stamps, for example, are a gift from the taxpayers out of the kindness of their hearts.

      You aren’t “entitled” to anything other than what was already yours.

      • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 01/22/2014 - 04:18 pm.

        Own money

        While a tax break allows you to keep more money, and while a tax increase requires you to keep less, you are not entitled either to the increase or the decrease in taxes. That’s why changes in tax policy are not considered entitlements. You don’t have a right to a given level of taxation.

      • Submitted by Sarah Nagle on 01/22/2014 - 06:12 pm.

        Funny thing about those “tax breaks”

        They are so much bigger (percentage-wise) for those who think that their investments entail “real work” (like stashing money outside the US) and thus should be taxed at a much lower rate than those schlubs who actually work for a living. The schlubs are subsidizing the 1%.

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/22/2014 - 01:36 pm.

    This is actually encouraging.

    If you want the Republican part to continue it’s implosion this is all good news. Until Republicans recognize the fact that their “principles” are actually their problem, they will continue to recycle the same decades old failed policies as innovation, and voters will continue to drift away. They think they have branding problem… let them think that if you want them to collapse.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/22/2014 - 03:57 pm.

      Yeah, I agree

      Having principles of wanting to live in a free society of the type envisioned by the Founders is our problem.

      When the citizenry realize they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury, the great experiment in self-governance will be over. And the people whose “principles” are to fear and resent their own freedom, will rule.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/23/2014 - 11:56 am.

        Free society of the type envisioned by the Founders

        Do you really want to go there, Mr. Tester? Or is it time for yet another reminder that the Founders were not only slave owners, but crafted several constitutional provisions to protect the Peculiar Institution?

        You might also be interested in reading about what Thomas Jefferson “envisioned” for the Native population.

  10. Submitted by David Frenkel on 01/22/2014 - 04:16 pm.

    Republican implosion

    Don’t forget the former VA governor that was just indicted for taking ‘gifts’. Remember the last rising star from VA, former US Senator Allen who made a racial comment at a political event. One comment killed his political career. There are no second chances on the national political stage.

  11. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 01/22/2014 - 04:22 pm.

    Having principles of wanting

    “Having principles of wanting to live in a free society of the type envisioned by the Founders is our problem.”

    The founding fathers understood and were very comfortable with the concept of taxation. There objection was to taxation without representation. Granted, the founders were very uncomfortable with empowering citizens generally, but that’s something we have rejected over time. Let’s recall also that the founders accepted the institution of human slavery, They were fallible human beings, many of whose errors, we have corrected over time.

  12. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 01/22/2014 - 05:04 pm.

    Back off

    Everyone knows that Ms. Brucato is a Republican and writes about Republican candidates – that’s her job here. Unlike many Republican commentators today, she is civil and fairly objective, and ultimately represents a wing of the Republican party that has been in decline and is (IMHO) sorely missed. I’m not a Republican but I find value in reading her pieces. Yes, this was a puff piece and not her best work, but I am more put off by the responses here than the piece itself. Save it for the Tea Party and the gay-bashers.

  13. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 01/22/2014 - 05:10 pm.

    The One Percent

    This is an important article. With the Citizens United decision, made by conservative activist justices, the 1% have a lot of say in who the next President is.

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/22/2014 - 05:27 pm.

    Republican Principles

    Mr. Tester says: “Having principles of wanting to live in a free society of the type envisioned by the Founders is our problem. ”

    If that were actually the principle they pursue they wouldn’t be imploding. Instead they don’t seem to be able to comprehend this principle in any coherent way or advocate for it. They substitute their own often perverse “visions” for those of the founding fathers and try fight to restrict any freedom they don’t personally value. I know they “think” this is their principle, but thinking is a lost art form amongst too many contemporary American conservatives.

  15. Submitted by Wes Davey on 01/22/2014 - 07:58 pm.

    “He talked about what has to be done,” he said. “We’ve got to cut entitlements, have means-testing for Medicare and Social Security.”

    And any significant cuts to military spending are still not on the table, for either Republicans or Democrats.

  16. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 01/23/2014 - 08:32 am.

    Just wondering

    Acknowledging my general agreement with Dan Hintz’s comment, I still wonder how the responses here might have differed if the headline for Ms. Brucato’s piece had been equally accurate, but worded something like:

    “Multi-billionaire Republican Stan Hubbard impressed with Gov. Christie at expensive weekend meet-and-greet.”

  17. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/23/2014 - 09:39 am.


    This is really gonna kill the Republicans. Look, our population is aging, median incomes have been flat or declined for the last two decades, traditional pensions have been tossed out in favor of investments that were just wiped out by a deregulation fueled financial bubble-burst. This means even fewer Americans have any kind of retirement safety net than they did 30 years ago. The fact is we need to expand “entitlements” and figure out a way to pay for them, not cut them back. At a time when more and more Americans are going to rely on SS, and that population is growing faster than any other… these guys are launching a trickle down class war on SS recipients. Let em.

    Like the culture war this is just another Republican fantasy crises, it’s completely artificial and manufactured. First they cut revenue (taxes) and they pretend the resulting deficit is cause by seniors collecting “entitlements” rather than Republican mismanagement. Hogwash. We can well afford our safety nets and we can afford to expand them, we have the largest economy on the planet, twice as large as the next largest economy. The simplest, most cost effective, and obvious fix is to extend or eliminate the SS withholding cap.

    The only other real problem we have it the health care costs, which frankly will not be controlled until we have a national health care plan i.e. everyone or most everyone is on Medicare. Seniors will gobble up a lot of health care and as long as our health care costs are three to four times more than anyone else’s in the world that will be a problem. Nevertheless, cutting SS payments isn’t a solution of any kind. Of course the Republicans have never really acknowledged that we actually have a health care problem so their response to SS spending can be nothing other than incoherent. As far as they’re concerned as long a corporations are making money in health care there can be no problem other than frivolous laws suits and insurance frauds that eat into profits.

    • Submitted by Stu von Wald on 01/23/2014 - 11:02 am.

      Social security

      Hubbard, a plutocrat, wants to cut social security. The present withholding cap on earnings is proof that plutocrats control our nation. It is an extremely regressive tax, and more and more people are becoming aware of that fact. Hubbard and his ilk would be wise to say nothing more about “cutting” social security benefits, but of course power and money doesn’t always beget wisdom. Mr. Udstrand correctly states that there is a huge need to expand social security and medicare benefits. The fairest way to solve the so-called social security problem is to do as Udstrand proposes: extend or eliminate the social security withholding cap.

  18. Submitted by jody rooney on 01/23/2014 - 10:16 am.

    Mr. Tester incase you haven’t noticed

    the Republicans are the party of fear. They have increased the intrusiveness of the government into peoples private lives.

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