Video: Chris Christie rips feds after clerical error costs New Jersey $400 million in school funding

Via Cubachi, a textbook example of how to turn a mistake to one’s political advantage. To be clear: The error here was made by his own staff, not the Department of Ed. They were applying for “Race to the Top” money and accidentally inserted 2010 budget numbers in the space where 2008 numbers were requested. Rather than call them to ask for the correct information — and despite the fact that Jersey officials actually did give them the proper numbers at an oral presentation two weeks ago — the feds simply processed the application and, based on the incorrect info, determined that NJ missed the cut for almost half a billion dollars in funding. (They finished three points behind Ohio on the DOE’s application scorecard; had they filled out the application correctly, they would have finished slightly ahead.)

So what’s a governor to do knowing that voters won’t be pleased at this innocent yet costly goof? Well, if he’s smart, he uses it to reinforce his grand critique of big government, indicting a mindless bureaucracy for penalizing Jersey students over a harmless, easily fixable error. Chris Christie, smart guy. Exit question: Anyone else think the DOE would have picked up the phone if Corzine was still governor?