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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally and picnic in Oskaloosa, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

It's a sad day for the Republican Party when Chris Christie is making more sense than the man leading the polls for the GOP presidential nomination, buoyed there by the thirst of the GOP base for outrageous reality-show-like statements.

Yet it is Chris Christie this week who trumped Donald Trump. Chris Christie of "sit-down-and-shut-up" fame. Chris Christie, whose New Jersey administration will forever be tarred by the extortion and revenge mode of governing exposed by Bridgegate and reported threats of withholding state-administered FEMA money in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

In the pundit circles these days, Trump's understanding of the reality show circuit and how to use it to gain ink and soundbites is beginning to be called trumpitization. He started with rabid and racist comments about Mexican immigrants, calling them rapists and criminals that Mexico "sends" us. And his fix for immigration reform is to build a wall at the border and make the Mexican government pay for it. Then he said Sen. John McCain isn't a war hero because heroes don't get taken prisoner. Then Trump thumped rival Lindsey Graham and gave out his private cellphone number, obtained in years past when Graham was seeking Trump's donations. This week Trump swung his wrecking ball at rival Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose state Trump says is in a "mess."

The trumpifying is contagious. Facing the tick-tock of deadlines to rack up poll numbers and secure a seat in the GOP debates (there are 10 chairs but 16 children), the presidential hopefuls on the overcrowded bench are climbing all over each other to make every outlandish claim imaginable.

Former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has equated the proposed Iran nuclear deal to the Holocaust.

The trouble is these candidates seemed not to have the wisdom that our southern mamas bestowed early on most of us. That is: Don't get into a watering match with a skunk.

Enter Christie, who on Tuesday specifically criticized Trump's "great line" about building a wall at the border between the U.S. and Mexico and somehow getting the Mexican government to pay for it.

"You have to have some experience in [the] actual difficulty of governing," Christie said. "You need to understand how you have to work with other people, how if you disagree with someone, you can't just fire them."

All of you Bridgegate people should try to stop laughing, now. Christie does have a point about governing being hard. Perhaps his real point was — short of making Mexico our 51st state — how are we supposed to "make" Mexico pay for this monolithic wall?

But then Christie, being Christie, totally fell off track, telling CNBC that Trump hurts the credibility of the presidency.

Hardly. The credibility of the presidency is just fine. It's the credibility of the GOP that's in dire, dire trouble.

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