After reviewing the evidence, Fox News host Greta Van Susteren apologized on Thursday night to Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for saying he hugged President Barack Obama almost three years ago.
The photograph in question was taken when Obama visited New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy caused mass destruction in October 2012 — just days before the presidential election. Christie has been criticized by conservatives for the meeting, with many blaming him for contributing to Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s loss.
During last week’s first GOP debate of the 2016 election, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) went as far as to say Christie gave Obama “a big hug” as part of an attack.
But while interview Christie for an segment that aired Thursday on her show “On The Record,” Van Susteren told the 2016 hopeful she made a mistake describing the interaction as a “hug.”
“I’ve probably said ‘hug’ a million times on the air. I’ve thought it a million times,” Van Susteren said to Christie. “I’ve got to say — I’m sorry about the hug.”
Christie said he appreciated the apology, and emphasized he shook Obama’s hand but did not hug him.
“I think that’s what civilized people do when someone comes to your state when they come to offer help,” Christie said. “You shake their hand and welcome them, which is what I did.”
Christie said he worked hard to elect Romney, and would not have done anything differently to greet Obama when he visited that day.
Watch the apology:
Later in the show, Van Susteren, a former attorney, further dissected the evidence. She showed a photo and video of Christie greeting Obama on the tarmac in 2012.
“After looking at the picture and the video, I concluded there was no hug. That was Governor Christie extending his hand to greet the President and the President arrived in New Jersey to check out the damage just three days after Hurricane Sandy had slammed the state,” Van Susteren told viewers.
“I see a handshake, and the President putting his hand on Governor Christie’s shoulder —no hug,” she said.
Watch Van Susteren’s breakdown of the photo and video:
Van Susteren said she put the video up for examination in order to be fair to all GOP 2016 contenders, and asked viewers to go on her Facebook page to comment whether they thought Christie and Obama hugged.
Her viewers were not so convinced by the evidence.