AirTalk for January 9, 2014

NJ Governor Christie mired in fake lane-closure scandal AKA 'Bridge-gate'

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks about his knowledge of a traffic study that snarled traffic at the George Washington Bridge during a news conference on January 9, 2014 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey.

"I was blindsided," New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said at a lengthy news conference Thursday morning as he apologized for a political scandal that could affect his future political ambitions.

Christie said he knew nothing of a plan by some of his closest aides to create traffic jams as political playback to a town mayor. Christie said he fired one of the aides involved after texts and emails showed that she arranged lane closings on the George Washington Bridge to punish the town's mayor who refused to endorse Christie.

The closings created gridlock for several days in September and surely ticked off the residents of Fort Lee, New Jersey. A federal prosecutor has announced an investigation into the highway shutdown and the town’s mayor Mark Sokolich publicly told Christie not to bother visiting and to apologize to the town’s residents instead.

The political fallout could harm Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. Will this scandal wreck his national political ambitions? How did he handle the apology? Do you believe him that he had no knowledge of the lane closures? Is this incident more evidence that Christie has bullied political rivals?

Guests:

Bob Ingle, Senior Political Columnist for Gannett New Jersey newspapers and co-author of “Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power” (St Martin’s Press, 2012)

Lisa Gritzner, President of Cerrell Associates public relations firm


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