Christie Tries to Put Traffic Scandal in Rearview Mirror

Says it won't stop him from governing New Jersey

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tried to turn the page Tuesday on the traffic scandal that has imperiled his political future, using his State of the State address to apologize again before brandishing his achievements in office.

“The last week has certainly tested this administration,” Christie said in opening a speech that quickly pivoted away from the scandal after a promise to cooperate with all investigations. “Mistakes were clearly made. And as a result, we let down the people we are entrusted to serve. I know our citizens deserve better. Much better.”

The annual address — Christie’s first since he was overwhelmingly re-elected in November — came as he is grappling with the first serious scandal of his political career. Documents that surfaced last week showed his aides plotting to snarl traffic in a North Jersey town as payback because the town’s mayor didn’t back his re-election. New Jersey lawmakers and federal authorities are both probing the incident, for which Christie apologized and fired a top aide last week.

Christie, a likely Republican presidential candidate in 2016, was adamant Tuesday that the scandal won’t distract him from forging ahead in his second term.

“But I also want to assure the people of New Jersey today that what has occurred does not define us or our state,” Christie said. “This administration and this legislature will not allow the work that needs to be done to improve the people’s lives in New Jersey to be delayed.”

He cited four consecutive years of private-sector job growth and the lowest unemployment rate in five years.

“The good news is that today, the state of our state is good and it is getting better,” Christie said.

And the governor, who ruffled GOP feathers when he toured storm-wrecked areas of the state with President Barack Obama ahead of Obama’s 2012 re-election, also gestured toward his bipartisan bona fides.

“No state in this country has shown more bipartisan cooperation in the last four years than New Jersey,” Christie said, “and our people are proud of it.”

8 comments
bobcn
bobcn

A politician who got caught wants to put the scandal 'behind him'.  How unique.

MacFrite
MacFrite

somehow I can't even begin to imagine Christie as the countries President, he would make a better Mafiaoso

roknsteve
roknsteve

And what about the $30 million his wife's charity collected for Hurricane Sandy?

AmusedByItAll
AmusedByItAll

The extremely disturbing aspect of the debacle of Fort Lee lane closures is that exacting retribution from voters either for their selection of political leaders or for the legal and legitimate actions of those elected leaders smacks of an antidemocratic “banana republic” philosophy of American democratic processes.

Governor Christie solidifies that critique of his political philosophy with his frequent public bullying of random citizens who often pose valid and pertinent queries. He seems to use the power and protection that his position affords him, both to squelch legitimate policy and implementation questions and to intimidate the questioner. Since he now seems to be carrying that approach over to the treatment of his political opponents, it’s hard not to wonder whether the Governor with his intimidating tactics is openly demonstrating his preference, when he runs for political office, for political contests that more resemble single candidate plebiscites than free and open elections with more than one politically credible candidate.

In the future, shouldn’t Democratic, Independent, and Republican voters think long and hard about entrusting the safeguards of our American democracy in the hands of an individual who, at the very least, provided the leadership and a fertile environment for such an attitude to flourish among various individuals closest to their leader?

jmac
jmac

No state in this country has shown more bipartisan cooperation in the last four years than New Jersey"


   It's so easy to show bipartisanship when you're buying your friends.   Everybody loves a handout.   How's he going to dole out the Republican governor's money?   Do they have to kiss the ring and anoint the king?    


LostInBrooklyn
LostInBrooklyn

Christie's troubles just got a lot worse. According to a report this afternoon, several members of his staff are now blaming a Youtube video for the George Washington bridge fiasco. http://bit.ly/1hnmvab

bobcn
bobcn

@LostInBrooklyn  

"According to a report this afternoon..."

Did you switch to the Daily Rash as your news source because you felt that The Onion occasionally exaggerates things?

La_Randy
La_Randy

@LostInBrooklyn Republicans are so pathetic when it comes to satire. Their real life comments are much better at stretching reality in a comedic way.