The Republican Party is, in a general sense, freaking out over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) bridge debacle.

Christie was ostensibly the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, and though the bridge scandal alone is probably not enough to knock him from contention, it is at least turning some GOP boosters off to his potential candidacy.

"You know what a lot of them say to me?" a GOP operative tells BuzzFeed of his talks with party donors. "'I think we need Mitt back.'"

Still, some in the party are actually quite pleased with the governor's fall from grace. Conservatives soured on Christie long ago and are happy to see him struggling now if it means he'll be less likely to represent the party come 2016. And, given Christie's pugilistic flair and penchant for making enemies, there are plenty of others from the more moderate wing of the GOP who feel like he's getting his comeuppance.

Among these giddy GOPers:

Team Romney
Romney considered, but ultimately passed on, tabbing Christie as his running mate in 2012. Reports have since claimed the Romney camp was spooked by unexplained details in Christie's past, details that loomed even larger when Christie refused to answer questions about them.

So Team Romney is feeling pretty good right now that the bridge scandal has, to some degree, vindicated that concern.

"Rom-denfreude (noun)," Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel writes. "The pleasure Mitt Romney loyalists are taking in the struggles of Chris Christie."

The pleasure, Vogel adds, stems "from a range of perceived Christie slights towards Romney during the 2012 campaign, which several Romney loyalists ticked off quickly — and with still-evident bitterness."

In the most glaring case, Christie literally embraced President Obama after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast, an act many on the right considered a final, fatal blow to Romney's campaign.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
Paul, like Christie, is believed to be eyeing a White House bid. And in that sense, any bad news for Christie is good news for him.

"I don't know who e-mailed whom, who works for whom," he said last week in a light dig at Christie. "I have been in traffic before and I know how angry I am, and I'm always wondering, who did this."

Paul has been dinging Christie for some time now. Last year, he called Christie out for appearing in campaign-style tourism ads paid for with Hurricane Sandy relief funds. The federal government is now investigating whether Christie did indeed inappropriately use those funds.

The traffic scandal has only given Paul more ammunition to swipe at his potential rival.

"Nobody likes the idea of using government against someone for political reasons," he told a Phoenix radio station this week, "I think that's what's being addressed here and that's why I think it's a bigger issue than just traffic. Because if it is true, if it looks like someone who won an election is punishing people they beat in the election, that leaves a really bad taste in people's mouth."

Rick Santorum
Santorum was the runner-up for the GOP nomination last time around, and there's some speculation he may run again. So he, too, has used the ordeal as a chance to knock down a potential competitor while elevating his own profile.

"Personnel is policy, and the people that you hire are the policies that are implemented," he said last week on Meet the Press, adding that "it's very clear that the personnel there was not sensitive to what seemed to be a very obvious wrong thing to do."

Conservative Media
Ok, so this isn't technically one Republican. But the unbridled mirth from conservative pundits and reporters has been resounding and widespread, so cataloging it all collectively rather than individually makes more sense.

Conservatives loved Christie when he was yelling at teachers and talking about fiscal restraint. But after the governor praised Obama and pursued some far-right no-nos — backing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, supporting stricter gun laws, among others — they quickly turned on him.

Hence they, more than anyone on the right, are reveling in his troubles. Conservative radio host Steve Deace perhaps best exemplifies that sentiment: