Gov. Chris Christie fires aide, apologizes for traffic jams

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering in Union City, N.J., Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. A top aide to Christie is linked through emails and text messages to a seemingly deliberate plan to create traffic gridlock in a town at the base of the George Washington Bridge after its mayor refused to endorse Christie for re-election. Christie, who has denied any knowledge of the plan, released a statement late 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.” (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering in Union City, N.J., Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. A top aide to Christie is linked through emails and text messages to a seemingly deliberate plan to create traffic gridlock in a town at the base of the George Washington Bridge after its mayor refused to endorse Christie for re-election. Christie, who has denied any knowledge of the plan, released a statement late 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.” (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

— Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday apologized to his constituents and said he was "embarrassed and humiliated" by his staff, one day after emails and text messages revealed his administration may have closed highway lanes to exact political retribution.

Christie also said he was firing Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly, "because she lied to me."

Kelly is the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. Documents show she arranged traffic jams to punish the mayor, who didn't endorse Christie for re-election.

The revelations thrust a regional transportation issue into a national conversation raising new questions about the ambitious governor's leadership on the eve of a second term designed to jumpstart his road to the White House.

The messages do not directly implicate Christie, but they contradicted his assertions that the closings were not punitive and that his staff was not involved.

Christie acknowledged Thursday that was a lie, because his staff didn't tell him what they had done.

The messages were obtained by The Associated Press and other news organizations amid a statehouse investigation into whether the lane closings that led to the tie-ups were retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie for re-election last fall.

"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," Kelly wrote in August in a message to David Wildstein, a top Christie appointee on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

A few weeks later, Wildstein closed two of three lanes connecting Fort Lee to the heavily-traveled George Washington Bridge, which runs between New Jersey and New York City.

Beyond the specifics of the lane closures, critics suggest the incident reflects a darker side of Christie's brand of politics that contradicts the image he'd like to project as he eyes the presidency.

The governor repeatedly sidestepped criticism that he bullied adversaries in an overwhelming re-election victory in November. Facing a little-known and underfunded opponent, he cast himself as a different kind of Republican: a compromising, consensus builder who ultimately earned strong support from minorities, union members and even many Democrats.

It was described as the opening argument for Christie's prospective White House run. That argument is now clouded, at least temporarily, during one of the most important transitions of his political career.

In less than two weeks, he is scheduled to celebrate his second inauguration in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty on historic Ellis Island, a symbolic beginning to a second term designed to expand Christie's bipartisan appeal. He also is expected to unveil his second-term priorities — solidifying his presidential resume — in a state-of-the-state address later this month, while beginning an aggressive national travel schedule as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Wildstein, a childhood friend of the governor, is scheduled to testify later Thursday before a state Assembly committee.

Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said the "revelations are troubling for any public official." But she said: "They also indicate what we've come to expect from Gov. Christie — when people oppose him, he exacts retribution. When people question him, he belittles and snidely jokes. And when anyone dares to look into his administration, he bullies and attacks."

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Comments » 9

Konfuzius writes:

"Christie also said he was firing Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly, "because she lied to me."

All very bad. The governor was a big hope for the Republicans to win against Hilary. Now this hope is over. But he did an outstanding job together with GREAT President Barack Obama to fix the damages of hurricane Sandy. He was fair and a successful help for GREAT President Barack Obama to be re-elected. So our NJ girl will be sad. I think he was a good man.

Ruger writes:

Gov. Chris Christie is a fake Conservative, that aside, he is taking the Obama angle claiming he "knew nothing about it". Works for Obama should work for him too??

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/pr...

Here's a partial list of things the president claims to have been unaware of before they occurred:NSA spying scandal, domestic and foreign; multiple warnings about the Obamacare website disaster prior to its launch; IRS targeting his political opponents; millions who will lose their health plans and doctors despite his promise otherwise; Department of Justice spying on journalists; the flawed security at Benghazi; ATF running guns to Mexico. Finally, and perhaps the one destined to generate the most backlash, that Obamacare will result in tens of millions of insured Americans losing their current plans and being forced to replace them with policies costing exorbitantly more.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Ruger:

Gov. Chris Christie is a fake Conservative, that aside, he is taking the Obama angle claiming he "knew nothing about it". Works for Obama should work for him too??

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/pr...

Here's a partial list of things the president claims to have been unaware of before they occurred:NSA spying scandal, domestic and foreign; multiple warnings about the Obamacare website disaster prior to its launch; IRS targeting his political opponents; millions who will lose their health plans and doctors despite his promise otherwise; Department of Justice spying on journalists; the flawed security at Benghazi; ATF running guns to Mexico. Finally, and perhaps the one destined to generate the most backlash, that Obamacare will result in tens of millions of insured Americans losing their current plans and being forced to replace them with policies costing exorbitantly more.

Somebody asked me: Why are you here in America?
Exactly that is the answer:

"Gov. Chris Christie is not a fake Conservative, that aside, he is taking the Obama angle claiming he "knew nothing about it". Works for Obama should work for him too?? Right!
Here's a partial list of things the president claims to have been unaware of before they occurred:NSA spying scandal, domestic and foreign; multiple warnings about the Obamacare website disaster prior to its launch; IRS targeting his political opponents; millions who will lose their health plans and doctors despite his promise otherwise; Department of Justice spying on journalists; ATF running guns to Mexico. Finally, and perhaps the one destined to generate the most backlash, that Obamacare will result in tens of millions of insured Americans losing their current plans and being forced to replace them with policies costing exorbitantly more."

A nation on the way in a better future.
Thanks GREAT President Barack Obama!

Ruger writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

Somebody asked me: Why are you here in America?
Exactly that is the answer:

"Gov. Chris Christie is not a fake Conservative, that aside, he is taking the Obama angle claiming he "knew nothing about it". Works for Obama should work for him too?? Right!
Here's a partial list of things the president claims to have been unaware of before they occurred:NSA spying scandal, domestic and foreign; multiple warnings about the Obamacare website disaster prior to its launch; IRS targeting his political opponents; millions who will lose their health plans and doctors despite his promise otherwise; Department of Justice spying on journalists; ATF running guns to Mexico. Finally, and perhaps the one destined to generate the most backlash, that Obamacare will result in tens of millions of insured Americans losing their current plans and being forced to replace them with policies costing exorbitantly more."

A nation on the way in a better future.
Thanks GREAT President Barack Obama!

You are "not aware" that Obama has one of the worst track records in the history of American Presidents.

Right? LOL

http://nypost.com/2013/09/06/worse-th...

Konfuzius writes:

But he is number 1 worldwide. With GREAT President Barack Obama the image of America is up.
Is that not wonderful for all Americans. I mean all other nations in the world will be proud to have a leader awarded with the Nobel peace price.
And s he took over America, the stock market was under 7 000. Look the stock-market today.
This ranting of the NYP is anyway just BS!

Tom_Massie writes:

Sorry Mr. K.,

Your post above in totally inaccurate. I just returned from France and Italy. There were articles and cartoons all over the newspapers chastising Obama and his administration.

Maybe as someone else said earlier. If you keep telling lies, loud and long enough there will be people that will believe you. But believing does not make a lie the truth.

Tom

1Paradiselost writes:

The term Mr. K needs to learn is "You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts".

I don't know what Obama has do with New Jersey politics.

However, I believe we have not heard the last of this story about Christie and what really happened.

tikihut2206 writes:

I am proud to be from New Jersey..but I am not naïve I know my state is corrupt..both democrats and republicans..only thing I don't understand is people don't think the same things happen in Idaho, Nebraska, etc..I am sure the do..but it is always New jersey..why because people think we are all in the mob..it is the garden state..we have 126 miles of beach and so many farms in south jersey..it is a beautiful state and I am proud to live there..

RayPray writes:

in response to tikihut2206:

I am proud to be from New Jersey..but I am not naïve I know my state is corrupt..both democrats and republicans..only thing I don't understand is people don't think the same things happen in Idaho, Nebraska, etc..I am sure the do..but it is always New jersey..why because people think we are all in the mob..it is the garden state..we have 126 miles of beach and so many farms in south jersey..it is a beautiful state and I am proud to live there..

"I am proud to be from New Jersey.."

>>> Jungle John Corzine, who bought the state for up Goldman Sex.

>>> Jim "Skeevy" McGreevey Proud Gay American. Installed Mossad agent Golan Cipel on state payroll, as terrorism expert, just to get his rectum conveniently rogered.

>>> Bob Menendez, the Cuban Abe Lincoln, protecting the kids of America, by never having sex with child prostitutes, except while junketeering thru Latin America

>>> Little wonder Jersey is known as the Armpit of America....

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