Chris Christie | New Jersey | News

In Jam Over Bridge Scandal, Chris Christie Fires Aide, Apologizes: VIDEO


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie apologized earlier today at a press conference regarding the scandal over emails that revealed staffers had engaged in political retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey by ordering the closure of two lanes of the George Washington Bridge which clogged traffic in that city for four smoggy days in September.

In the presser, which lasted almost two hours, Christie attempted to paint himself as a victim of the controversy, and said he fired his aide Bridget Anne Kelly and his two-time campaign manager Bill Stepien.

Some of Christie's choice quotes from the press conference. You can read the full transcript HERE.

"I was blindsided yesterday morning.. . . I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or its execution, and I am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here, regardless of what the facts ultimately uncover. This was handled in a callous and indifferent way, and it is not the way this administration has conducted itself over the last four years and not the way it will conduct itself over the next four."

"I'm sad. I'm sad. That's the predominant emotion I feel right now is sadness, sadness that I was betrayed by a member of my staff, sadness that I had people who I entrusted with important jobs who acted completely inappropriately, sad that that's led the people of New Jersey to have less confidence in the people that I've selected."

"I feel passionately about issues, and I don't hide my emotions from people. I am not a focus-group tested, blow-dried candidate or governor. Now, that has always made some people, as you know, uneasy. Some people like that style, some people don't. ... But I am not a bully."

Watch the first few minutes of the presser, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. "I'm stunned, STUNNED, to discover gambling going on here." That's from the original draft of Casablanca, though of course Claude Rains changed the line just a little bit.

    And yes, I'm sure you're "stunned by the abject stupidity" of saying in non-coded English what the plan was in a freaking EMAIL from the Governor's office. Yes, I bet he regrets hiring such stupid people.

    Personally, I am stunned this is the best he could do when his career is on the line.

    Posted by: Zlick | Jan 9, 2014 3:12:23 PM

  2. I don't believe a word you say Christie.

    Posted by: Truthiness | Jan 9, 2014 3:12:42 PM

  3. Will there be a criminal investigation? From what I heard, emergency services were inhibited by the manufactured traffic and at least one life was lost because of the delay.

    Posted by: Mikey | Jan 9, 2014 3:16:06 PM

  4. We've heard this before. Just apologizing for getting caught. What a ridiculous joke

    Posted by: Will | Jan 9, 2014 3:19:02 PM

  5. This guy is a crook. Get his staff an appointment with a United States District Attorney's office. They'll talk.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 9, 2014 3:20:51 PM

  6. he's a liar.

    Posted by: Mark | Jan 9, 2014 3:24:07 PM

  7. such a pathetic man.

    Posted by: HKfCA | Jan 9, 2014 3:26:12 PM

  8. You been busted, Christie! And kudos to Rachel Maddow of MSNBC for exposing and staying on top of this story!!

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 9, 2014 3:30:21 PM

  9. Can't wait to see him get booted out on his big butt. Karma's a b***h, Buddy!

    Posted by: Jack M | Jan 9, 2014 3:34:03 PM

  10. As with virtually every political scandal since Year One, it isn't the actual deed that gets people in trouble (The US is a very forgiving country), but it is the cover-up.

    Come clean. Apologize. Say you won't do it any more, and then don't do it any more, and you'll be fine. Just don't try to save your neck by fudging and blaming others.

    Posted by: Esther Blodgett | Jan 9, 2014 3:35:20 PM

  11. Well, at this point what else can he try?

    Posted by: distinguetraces | Jan 9, 2014 3:39:58 PM

  12. This all rings very false. The other shoe is yet to drop.

    Posted by: Howard B | Jan 9, 2014 3:56:45 PM

  13. Do you hear that, everyone?

    Posted by: Reginald | Jan 9, 2014 4:07:51 PM

  14. he didn't know.
    ... and I've got a bridge to sell you.

    Posted by: woody | Jan 9, 2014 4:10:31 PM

  15. No, when it comes to "style," he's not "the blow-dried candidate" for governor. He's the lap-banded candidate for governor.

    Posted by: Lexis | Jan 9, 2014 4:18:36 PM

  16. "... and if you believe that, I've got a bridge over the Hudson River I can keep you from using. Oh, wait... I do have one of those."

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Jan 9, 2014 4:21:20 PM

  17. So he's stunned but when everyone (and really _everyone_ was calling it) he was making jokes and not investigating. One article and a leaked email and now he's "stunned." Yeah... not buying it.

    Posted by: unruly | Jan 9, 2014 4:41:56 PM

  18. A bridge over troubled waters?

    To "get away" with something, you need a bunch of things in your favor. One of those is the press. Once they smell blood it's all over. However, it's very early for 2016. What matters next is his effectiveness during the 2014 congressional elections.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 9, 2014 4:58:54 PM

  19. MSNBC for the win. I guess ratings has nothing to do with influence.

    Posted by: snork | Jan 9, 2014 5:04:57 PM

  20. The telling thing is that, on the 2nd day of the Fort Lee traffic jam I believe, reporters were already asking the Mayor if the lane closures were retaliation for not endorsing the Governor's re-election. I think Christie's bullying, petty, retributional, intimidation style is an open secret in New Jersey. State and Federal investigations will make sure it's a secret no longer. Many more instances will come to light, I predict. Christie is toast.

    (Yes, I'm sure this whole plot was cooked up alone by his deputy chief of staff and his hack appointee at the Port Authority. I'm sure getting fired / having to resign was not on their radar then ... and you have to wonder why.)

    Posted by: Zlick | Jan 9, 2014 5:05:14 PM

  21. Give me a break. No one believes governor lardass. It would be perfectly in character for Christie to do exactly what he's being accused of doing.

    Posted by: Jonna the Woodswoman | Jan 9, 2014 5:51:51 PM

  22. The fish rots from the head. Christie created the cultural climate in his administration that gives the OK for his underlings to feel warranted to engage in petty retribution against political enemies.

    Posted by: ludovico | Jan 9, 2014 6:11:32 PM

  23. 'They're not our kids'
    'They're the kids of people who voted for Buono'

    Next time you hear a conservative hiding behind 'what about the children' think of this.

    She had a momentary pang of guilt but was able to excuse it because it was only hurting the kids of people who don't think like she does.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Jan 9, 2014 6:27:23 PM

  24. This scandal has no legs. It's pretty much over. Onward!

    Posted by: will | Jan 9, 2014 6:31:12 PM

  25. God, that man is so full of cr*p, it's brimming out his eyes... I love that his carefully orchestrated election to fuel his presidential ambitions are being undercut by his own crooked pettiness...

    He spend upwards of 25 million of the taxpayer's money to hold a special election for the senate seat that became available, he didn't want a popular Democrat (Corey Booker, who won the seat) to be on the ticket when he wanted to win by a huge margin... He didn't even get a huge margin...

    He'll say anything to get to the White House, He'll throw anyone under the bus.

    Hopefully one of the wounded will start talking...

    Posted by: jcloud | Jan 9, 2014 6:57:41 PM

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