9 Times Chris Christie Denied Using a Bridge for Political Revenge

“I was the guy out there, in overalls and a hat. I actually was the guy working the cones out there.”

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/10999009153/sizes/c/in/photostream/">Gage Skidmore</a>/Flickr

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UPDATE: On Thursday, 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.” 

On Wednesday morning, news outlets released emails that strongly imply that in September a top aide to New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie planned a dangerous traffic jam near the George Washington Bridge to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee. After over seven hours of silence, Christie—a possible presidential candidate in 2016—released a statement denying he had knowledge of the aide’s actions. Up until then, Christie and his aides made numerous statements claiming his office had no involvement in the scandal. Here’s the evolution of how Christie responsed to the scandal, dating back to September: 

  • “Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for the Christie campaign, said that any notion that Mr. Sokolich faced retribution for not endorsing the governor was ‘crazy.'” –The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2013 
  • ? “A spokesman for Christie, Michael Drewniak, said the governor had nothing to do with the lane closures: ‘The governor of the state of New Jersey does not involve himself in traffic studies,’ Drewniak said.” –The Star-Ledger (November 13, 2013) 
  • “I was the guy out there, in overalls and a hat. I actually was the guy working the cones out there. You really are not serious with that question.”? -Christie to WYNC (December 2, 2013) 
  • “Mr. Christie also said he believed Mr. Baroni’s [his top executive appointee at the Port Authority] explanation that the purpose of the closures was a traffic study. ‘I don’t think that Senator Baroni would not tell the truth,’ Mr. Christie said.” –The Wall Street Journal (December 13, 2013) 
  • “Christie said Friday the political drama surrounding the issue was ‘created and manufactured,’ further characterizing it as ‘a whole lot of hullabaloo.'” –CNN (December 13, 2013) 
  • “I don’t have any recollection of ever having met the mayor of Fort Lee in my four years…He was not somebody that was on my radar screen in any way–politically, professionally, or in any other way” –CNN (December 13, 2013) 
  • “When asked about that claims that the closures were ordered for political retribution, Christie said ‘absolutely, unequivocally not.'” Politico (December 13, 2013) 
  • “I know you guys are obsessed with this, I’m not. I’m really not. It’s just not that big a deal.” -Christie to Talking Points Memo (December 19, 2013)

And, finally, Wednesday:

  • “What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable. 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. One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions.”? –Statement, January 8, 2013

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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