Christie offers short statement saying was “mislead” by staff member on bridge scandal
Faced with new emails that suggest one of his closest aides called for closing some lanes on the George Washington Bridge in a political revenge move, New Jersey Chris Christie has issued a four line statement saying he was “mislead” by a member of his staff. Initial reaction — on blogs, among radio and cable pundits — suggest the rapidity of the statement, its brevity and its suggestion that the usually-hands-on Governor was totally in the dark make it a political band aid that will soon fall off.
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Christie responded to the revelation that Ione of his close aides discussed plans to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year.
“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable,” Christie said. “I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge.”
Christie’s already drawing fire for this statement since his previous statements attributed the lane closures to a traffic study. Plus: who ever heard of Chris Christie eschewing a press conference to answer his critics or batter down criticism? The statement — coupled with cancelling an event — reeks of fear. This scandal could be perilous to his national hopes. As some have noted, it almost has a “Sopranos” smelliness about it: powerful people getting their jollies using their power over others. And it will greatly hurt Christie with independent voters which would be his main argument — he could (before this) attract them in droves — if he ran for the 2016 Republican nomination.
So far Fox News is doing minimal coverage on this story, which is considered a big political story almost everywhere else.
So, at a minimum, he’s admitted that he’s a [awful] manager. It wasn’t some random clerk, it was his deputy chief of staff and his appointee to the Port Authority (and high school classmate, and lifelong friend) who conspired to do this bad, bad thing. Christie knew someone in his administration conspired to do something “unacceptable” for months, and he was only able to find out who from a press report.
It’s pretty clear he has no good alternatives here, but I wonder if stonewalling might not have been a better response.
Reaction on Twitter:
Chris Christie chose to issue a statement rather than face the press. Lame. http://t.co/ohv85ic7Uv
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) January 9, 2014
— alohapolitics.com (@Aloha_Politics) January 8, 2014
Very in-Christie like to simply issue a statement. He usually isn't afraid of a camera. Not handling any of this well.
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) January 8, 2014
Christie statement lame, especially for a man who built a national profile one brusque face-to-face battle at a time. http://t.co/ohv85ic7Uv
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) January 8, 2014
Maybe we could coax Christie out for a statement by dangling a teacher?
— Sam Seder (@SamSeder) January 8, 2014
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 8, 2014
chris christie 2013: STRAIGHT TALK! CAMERAS! YEAH! chris christie 2014: here's a written prepared statement. don't hurt me.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 8, 2014
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 9, 2014
So death panels are real! But they're being run by Chris Christie staffers and not by Obamacare bureaucrats: http://t.co/nvqWElee3U
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) January 9, 2014
If a 91 Year old woman died as a result of EMT Delays in this Bridge closure, how does that NOT destroy Christie? http://t.co/qoVIcPA518
— Malcolm Johnson (@admiralmpj) January 9, 2014
Not a laughing matter: Christie Admin. Bridge Lane Closure Slowed Search for Missing 4-Year-Old, Says Official http://t.co/BXWmInRRNX
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) January 9, 2014
I would tweet about the Christie scandal but I'm flying into Newark on Sunday and I don't want his staff to shut down the airport.
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) January 9, 2014
— Caroline Winfield (@mydoggyruss) January 8, 2014
What didn't Chris Christie know and when didn't he know it? http://t.co/MLlY9jJfi9
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) January 8, 2014
S.E. Cupp: If Christie Is Involved in 'Bridge-Gate,' He Should 'Resign Now' http://t.co/9u6KKCTcHJ (VIDEO)
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) January 8, 2014
Chris Christie is having a very bad day, but let's be realistic—his political career isn't over http://t.co/etnhElomX8
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) January 8, 2014
Robin Abcarian: Chris Christie's presidential hopes doomed by 'Bridgegate' email scandal http://t.co/MmoIGiCNcz
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 8, 2014