I Changed My Mind About Chris Christie During the Bridgegate News Conference Yesterday

I wasn’t crazy about the guy and his presidential chances.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gestures during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Photo | Mel Evans

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gestures during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Photo | Mel Evans, AP

I have been lukewarm on the “Chris Christie for president” media crusade. Although I like the Harry Truman-style straight talk, I don’t like the Nixon-like temper he is quick to display in public. But Christie’s performance at his Bridgegate news conference has changed all of that. While the MSNBC fan club is gleefully predicting the demise of the one candidacy that could have derailed the Hillary coronation, I now am now all in for Christie. He took something I have not seen a candidate so willingly and so humbly take in a long time – accountability.

In the first 10 seconds of his news conference he used the word “apologize” twice. That was quickly followed by the words “embarrassed,” “humiliated” and “unacceptable.” Christie then went on for more than two hours to answer every question even though he was staring down the barrel of a federal investigation. Does that seem like a man who has something to hide?

He even used the word that is never used by politicians, “lie.” Politicians will accuse others of not being forthcoming, of having their facts wrong, of speaking untruths. But they never say “lie.” Christie used the L-word at least a half dozen times. And then he announced that he fired the person who lied to him quickly and without reservation. This wasn’t done quietly or with any question about who or why. It was done very publicly with a detailed explanation.

Historically, one of the great weapons for an executive when things go wrong is “plausible deniability.” Christie did deny knowing, but admitted to being embarrassed by his ignorance and ultimately responsible. The New Jersey Governor’s strength has always been that he is not like every other politician. He only strengthened that perception at his news conference. Dealing with yet another crisis, this one political, he was not like any other politician. I don’t think he would ever argue what “is” is or claim “I don’t recall” 88 times when questioned about arms for hostages.

President Obama, on the other hand, has raised the art of plausible deniability to an art form. For a guy who is portrayed as the smartest guy in any room, he sure seems to be left out of the room a lot. We are to believe that he didn’t know a thing about Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, NSA surveillance or the Healthcare.gov web site, and that he went to bed while the U.S. consulate was under attack in Benghazi? President Obama would never say he was “embarrassed” or “humiliated” by his intellectual absence from those scandals and debacles, all more serious than causing a traffic jam in Fort Lee. He is comfortable in his blanket of denial.

Chris Christie is not. Yes, he gets angry, but he is real and seemingly uncalculated. I trust him, more now since the news conference than before it.

Polls show that Americans are weary of the nuanced cool detachment of the current administration. They have lost faith in the man who said, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it” and never once admitted that was not true. Instead he insisted we misheard him, forgetting that there are dozens of video clips that prove our hearing is just fine.

That most recent example of Presidential denial and lack of accountability is even more glaring now that we have seen the polar opposite in the gubernatorial acceptance of responsibility from Christie.

He has solidified himself as the anti-Obama. And although there are plenty of pundits who believe his performance marks the beginning of the end for the man who would be the Republican savior, I believe it helped him, as most Americans finally see the kind of change they had hoped for.

That is, assuming that everything he said at his press conference is true. If one word was a lie, he’s done.

Follow @LarryMendte on Twitter.

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  • DTurner

    Interesting view, we’ll have to see what the next few weeks bring to determine if he’ll stay in the race. I still think he’s the best option for the GOP at this point. He still has one of the best track records of working with democrats in a heavily blue state (a boon for the national race) and, unlike Romney, he actually has a likable personality, a major plus for the primaries.

    • Larry Mendte

      The truth will determine all. If he told the truth at his news conference, he is golden. If he lied, as I said, he is done.

  • Jane Yavis

    Here we go again. The best thing Chris Christie could say right now is that “HE wants to learn from any mistakes HE may have made that led to Bridge-SCAM. The childish “Well, look what he did first” has nothing to do with the mistakes I made.”

    Independants with an original thought of their own have to be fatigued with the same right and left talking points. Wouldn’t it be refreshing for someone to run on the “Real Men Fight Their Own Battles and Don’t Whine” Slogan.

    I find it amusing and telling that those on the right pretending to defend the same Christie they blamed for loosing their election are now using him to turn his tragedy into their opportunity of being able to bash Obama for something. I’m no Christie fan. I do think he’s a bully, but do you honestly believe Christie isn’t stupid enough to figure you guys out.????

    This article looks like a “Why I want a talk Radio Gig” letter to me. Good luck.

    • Larry Mendte

      No idea what you are saying. But Good Luck.

  • Stein

    Meh. Christie is fun in small doses. We don’t need to see him every day for eight years like the infantile incompetent narcissist that currently holds the position.

  • Facebook User

    I was also on the fence about Christie.. Happened to be home sick from work and saw the press conference and 5 minutes in I’d decided he wasn’t being truthful about things at all and that not only could I never support him, his goose is probably cooked. He just went on and on too long in his speech as if he was attempting to sell a story rather than explain facts. Time will tell.

    • Larry Mendte

      The “speech” part was short. He stayed and took every question, which is amazing and unheard of with an investigation looming.

      • Robert Isaacs

        He blew off the question about what he would do if subpoenaed. And all he said was he was embarrassed and humiliated because Kelly lied to him and betrayed him, not because of what she, Wildstein and Baroni did. He’s a phony windbag.

  • Les

    Fat Chris has bravely taken responsibility for what “his staff” did. Guffaw. Like he didn’t know what they were doing to “The Serbian”. Sure. Give us a break, huh? We know better.

  • Dex

    The key takeaway word in this whole article came in the first paragraph: “Performance”

    • Larry Mendte

      Really? You dom’t think they all perform. That YOU don’t perform in a job interview or in front of a client? c’mpn.

      • Dex

        That’s my point. I don’t get excited about him or other politicians because they’re all just putting us on. All that “realness” and forthrightness people credit Christie for is all carefully processed through the typical bunch of aides and handlers. He’s nothing special nor are any of the others.

  • Jack DeWitt

    The best way to judge Christie is to put his anger, sadness, disappointment and embarrassment in context. It was clear from the beginning that the four days of traffic jams were a serious problem. Why didn’t he launch an investigation into why it happened instead of making of fun of attempts to get to the bottom of it (“Yeah, I moved the cones.”) especially if he believed that his administration had nothing to do with it? Wouldn’t that be the gubernatorial thing to do? Why didn’t he inquire about the resignations of his appointees from the Port Authority? More recently, why didn’t he ask Kelley how this happened when he fired her. Did he expect his close friend to lie to him again? Isn’t he curious about how the planning was done so that the response to “time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee was met with a simple “got it.” rather than “what are you taking about?” Christie said that there was no vendetta against the Mayor of Ft. Lee. (“I hardly know the guy.”) So isn’t it puzzling that he has no interest in finding out what did precipitate the lane closures? Firing the people involved (not quite all of them besides) is not my idea of accountability. Getting straight answers to why these aides wanted to punish Ft. Lee would be a good start. The “boo hoo” defense is no more convincing than the “I didn’t know anything about it.” defense. Christie had months to find out and he didn’t. In fact he did everything possible to prevent the truth from coming out. Finally, it is really not about his being lied to that is the issue. It is about how

  • Xander GRoove

    Uh… No.
    This guy is a reckless buffoon at best. He is the classic carnival sideshow monkey. He does and says bonehead things and we all laugh at him, but seriously.. think about this… “PRESIDENT Christie”. Thats as frightening as it is laughable! Frankly I wouldnt trust him to run a PTA let alone the United States government. Remember the term “Most powerful man in the free world”? Anyone who thinks that Christie can rise up to that level is WAY wrong and frighteningly misled. Prayers to all.

  • disqus_4kS8xM5JX4

    Really, what choice did he have? This is not a pro- or con- comment about Christie, but only to say that clearly his handlers advised him he’d better implement damage control ASAP. Eating humble pie was the only way to do it. Not apologizing would raise suspicion about his own guilt, as would saying nothing at all, so we’re left with chest pounding and mea culpas. Larry, I think that being impressed with this is simply naive. He was being the consummate politician, nothing more.

    • Larry Mendte

      The “consummate politician” would have read a statement and taken no questions using the investigation as an excuse. It is being naive NOT to be impressed. I have covered these things for a long time and THAT was unprecedented. If he is lying, it is downright stupid.

      • Susie from Philly

        What kind of experienced reporter listens to Christie’s speech and doesn’t pick up on the dozen or more times he contradicted himself? Sounds to me like you graded it as an acting performance and not as a factual presentation. I suggest you do a little more reading.

        • Larry Mendte

          Please list “the dozen or more times he contradicted himself” so that I can make an informed response. East to say, difficult to back up.

          • Susie from Philly

            Oh, I’m sorry. I should have said “contradictions and lies.”

            1. “Two sleepless nights” vs. “I just found out emails yesterday.

            2. “Speaking to the members of my staff to find out what happened” vs. “didn’t talk” to people he fired because he “already knows” they lied.

            3. “I’m going to cooperate” vs. responding to question about complying with subpoena; “I’m not going to speculate about that at this time.”

            4. Christie: David Samson had “absolutely no knowledge” of the bridge plans. From the emails: “Samson helping us to retaliate.”

            5. “There still may have been a traffic study. I don’t know.” The director of the Port Authority has already testified there was no traffic study.

            6. Christie denied any “emotional relationship and closeness” with David Wildstein. A March 12, 2012 piece in The Record said his colleagues day him as Christie’s eyes and ears at the Port Authority, someone “with a political agenda.”

            There. That’s enough of my time doing your work.

          • Larry Mendte

            Interesting that you said “a dozen or more” and then only listed 6. Is that a contradiction or a lie?

            1. The emails were released by the newspaper the day before, his office was called for comment two nights before which would account for “two sleepless nights.”

            2. He already knew the culpable parties lied from the emails. It was after the emails he fired them. The two references are valid and not contradictory in the timeline of events.

            3. Again, not contradictory, just ask the President. You can cooperate without fighting a subpoena. In reading the transcript again it seems he was talking about cooperating with the current investigation. The Democrat state legislature hearings are when he would get a subpoena and that would require some thought.

            4. You are really stretching here (lying)? “Samson helpjng us to retaliate” is an email between Wildestein and another staffer. Christie is not in the chain. It is one of the emails he saw the day before the news conference.

            5. He acknowledged the testimony, but said he still wasn’t clear. Here is the full statement: “I don’t know what makes a legitimate traffic study. It’s not my area of expertise. And so I wouldn’t have a nose for that. I just wouldn’t. I don’t know what makes a legitimate traffic study.”

            “I’ve been told that sometimes they’re done live, sometimes they’re done by computer model. I’ve heard that in the professionals who’ve testified for the Port Authority. But you’d have to go to them to ask them what a legitimate traffic study is. I probably wouldn’t know a traffic study if I tripped over it.”

            6. You do see how someone who works for you and is your “eyes and ears” at a department is not necessarily someone you have an “emotional relationship or closeness with” I am certain at your work there are people you work with and report to on a daily basis and wouldn’t consider them close or an “emotional relationship.”

            I am glad you don’t do my work for me. I’d get sued on a daily basis. Only one could be considered a contradiction, none of them lies on Christie’s part and many potentially on your part.

            In my piece I allowed the possibility that Christie may be caught in a lie, but he hasn’t been yet. If he does get caught, there is a chance he will be impeached.

          • Jane Yavis

            No offense Larry, I have a feeling Susie is glad she doesn’t work for you either. The so called Traffic Study Defense is being created as we type.

            I am as offended as your casual use of the word “Lying” as I am with Christie’s claim that everyone else lies to him. In certain politically driven media circles, “liar” is freely thrown around. It’s one thing to defend Christie,,,,,it’s far another to say someone who doesn’t agree with you is lying.

          • Larry Mendte

            Jane look back at Susie’s post and my use of lying was a direct response to her. His best defense is that there is NO evidence linking him to the evidence, as pointed out on Meet The Press, on CNN, in The New York Times, etc, etc, etc

          • Jane Yavis

            Larry, that’s my point. It was your response to Susie’s Post. “Liar/lying/lied” are harsh words thrown around far to often in many politically driven circles. etc, etc, etc.

          • Jane Yavis

            Susie – With you on the first six. Allow me to complete the task – Remember, this is the man who publicly fired Brett Schundler for not keeping him informed and lying to him regarding Race to the Top Monies. Brett kept notes. Also remember this is the man who heard thru the GrapeVine people were still on beaches during Sandy and told them to Get the “H” off the beach. Does anyone honestly believe he had NO IDEA AT ALL what was going on.

            7. :”There still may have been a traffic study” seems to be a result of the stonewalling the Port Authority has been doing, They wanted to create a good story. Notes regarding Development of a project that the Mayor was completing financing for on the day the “Time for a Traffic Jam” note was written. One of the main selling points was the three lane access to the GWB that was closed. The same lanes residents of surrounding towns use daily.

            8. If Christie called “His” staff and asked all of them, and no-one knew anything,,,, will he have a staff left. .

            9. Governor Christie is New Jersey’s Mayor Rizzo, who loved his City as much as Christie loves New Jersey. Way before e-mail, Rizzo said ‘Never write anything down. I don’t want any mail. It’s a good policy that speaks for itself.

            10. The Governor’s inner-circle, one who will replace Bridget the Fall Girl, knew in September. Will they be fired?

            11. Christie’s PRESS SECRETARY was sent a urgent e-mail in September – Will he be fired??

            12. Port Authority Director sent e-mails to Baroni who sent e-mail to Egea on 9-13 – he wasn’t going t keep the lanes closed any longer.

            Daryll Issa, where are you when we need you???

  • JofreyRice

    haha, yeah, took a ton of accountability in firing people he blamed the whole thing on.

    • Larry Mendte

      If his account is true, and I believe it is, what choice did he have.

      • JofreyRice

        Well, first, the marathon news conference was arranged specifically,so he could say he “answered every question asked of him”. It was by design, so it’s hard for me to give him credit for reading page 1 of the “dealing with a scandal” playbook. Amazing you can refer to the Governor as “uncalculated”. I understand that’s the image he’s trying to cultivate, but the actions don’t match the words.

        For me, “accountability” means something that you, personally are accountable for. He fired the so-called responsible parties, . At what point did he acknowledge any personal responsibility, other than being duped because he was too trusting of these snakes in the grass? At what point did he address the idea that the culture he led gave rise to senior staffers who felt this kind of political retribution was appropriate?

        What part of “It’s on me, we fumbled the rollout”,–which is what Obama said, verbatim, in regard to the Healthcare.gov problems–do you think wrap him in a “blanket of denial”? Do you object to the plural pronoun “we”, and think he should have taken the blame for the thousands of coders, managers, project leaders, and various obstructionists that had a part in the rocky start? It’s not like he was sitting there finishing up the last few lines of code, minutes before October 1st.

        • Larry Mendte

          Ah, I see, you are partisan. That changes everything. I can’t change your mind nor will I try. But I have never seen someone faced with an investigation so completely answer questions for over two hours. He said “I am responsible” several times. The culture is a good and important question. And I will allow the caveat that he lied, which would be monumentally stupid. But you will have to admit that it took President Obama weeks to admit there was even a problem with the web site and then only after goading from Bill Clinto that he needs to get out there.

          • JofreyRice

            Larry, do you really, in good faith, claim that you are not partisan?

            I’ll be honest, I had no idea about your political leanings before reading your opinion on Christie, but by the end of the 800 words, I came away with some idea. Mentions of the manufactured Benghazi scandal, reference to Hillary’s “coronation” and using Christie’ss scandal as a vehicle to go over well-worn–and sometimes valid–criticism of the President lead me to a conclusion. Yet, I’m not trying to use my perception of your partisanship as an ad-hominem to discredit your opinions, out of turn; I tried to take on each section of your argument on its own merits.

          • Larry Mendte

            I hope you didn’t think I was discrediting you by pointing out partisanship. Partisans are vital to the process and usually more passionate and even more informed. No, no, I just meant that I would not change your mind. As for me, I was happy President Obama was elected in 2008, horrified in 2012. The economy was still awful and he ran only on tearing down Mitt Romney. I didn’t like his first term or his campaign. The Benghazi was not manufactured. Four Americans died and all the administration wanted to do was attempt to thwart and discredit any and all investigation into what went wrong. And something did go horribly wrong. As for Hillary’s coronation, have you been reading the press accounts? It is an appropriate metaphor. And I was very turned off by much of what Christie has done, but was impressed by the news conference. I used Obama because Christie is right for the time because he is so different than Obama, just like Jimmy Carter was so different than Nixon/Ford and Clinton was so different than Reagan/Bush. It is his strength and he showed it again yesterday.

          • JofreyRice

            Still disagree with a lot of what you’re saying, but appreciate the explanation.

          • Larry Mendte

            Jofrey, I like that we disagree and can still have a discussion.

          • Jane Yavis

            Well said, it seems the only defense Christie has is Obama and Clinton are worse. Hardly good news for the Governor.

          • Larry Mendte

            Well, wait, he also has the defense that there is no evidence that he knew about the lane closures. CNN just went through thousands of emails and there is no proof he had knowledge. That’s a pretty good defense.

          • Jane Yavis

            He also said he called in his staff who said they had no knowledge of Bridgescam. Turns out the person who is replacing Bridge-it was sent a letter in September.

            I agree they may well never have sufficient evidence to prove “knowledge” but do you HONESTLY BELIEVE he had no idea what was going on? .

          • Larry Mendte

            Now THAT is a good question and the core of the whole argument isn’t it? What do you believe? And it really presents a Catch22 for Christie. Either he is the in control, no nonsense Governor that he portrays or he isn’t. If he didn’t know, why didn’t he. Here is what I believe – that he has spent so much time in the media and setting the groundwork for a run for President that he was out of the loop. That isn’t a story he wants out there, but that is what I think happened. As for “the culture” that everyone likes to talk about, New Jersey has had a viscous, take no prisoners political culture for a long time before Chris Christie took office. Chances are that his aids have been part of that culture for a long time.

          • Jane Yavis

            But should Christie have been setting up groundwork for a Presidential Election FOUR years before an election? When we talk about his Aides and the Culture, let’s not leave out a gentlemen named Tom Kean, who helped Chris Christie enter politics. Hardly a vicious and take no prisoners culture guy, he barely recognizes the kid he tried to help get into politics. What people like Christie and others have done to the Republican party is what is coming home to roost right now.

            I have given thought to that theory, but there’s no way anyone living in any bedroom community of New York that suffers the rigors of the Bridges or tunnels (including the one Christie immediately scrapped when he took office) could have been out of a four day long, four hour long traffic jam. A better thought may be that when he found out,,,in September he thought his charm the press allowed him to display would make it go away. When it bubbled again in December, the reason for the Port Authority’s Mum’s the word on the whole thing was for them to create a scenario for the scam. The more that comes out regarding Land Development right next to the access lanes that were closed, the more it makes sense this was a planned thing.

          • Larry Mendte

            These days EVERYONE needs to set up the groundwork for a Presidential run four years out, Obama did, Hillary is, Romney certainly did. It is just what is required, unfortunately.

  • Cellar Rat

    “I want to get to the bottom of this!”, yet no conversation with either of the sacrificial lambs who’ve taken the hit for this. If you truly knew nothing of this, then the only way to get answers is to grill those employees that went totally rogue and are the only ones with the answers as to why they slowed down the busiest bridge in the world for a “traffic study” that seems to have no provenance. Firing them and then avoiding getting the answers that only they possess seems a lot more like sweeping under the rug than a dedicated and outraged attempt to get answers.

    • Larry Mendte

      He was smart not to have a conversation with them because of the pending state and federal investigation. Not having a conversation doesn’t preclude getting to the bottom of the matter.

      • Bryan S.

        Hey Larry ,
        Maybe if you would have uttered “I’m sorry” a few times or ” I lied” when all of the creepy stalking you we’re doing to Alicia was going on you might still have a job. Easy to ask others to do it not so easy to say it yourself!

        • DontBeIgnorant

          He did hold a news conference and apologized. And the only one accused of lying in the case was Lane, it was the reason the case was thrown out. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2247559/News-reader-Alycia-Lane-affair-anchor-defamation-lawsuit-CBS-bosses-thrown-out.html

        • Meterhead

          The man apologized and is trying to raise a family. Why doesn’t anybody ever investigate why the federal government went after a man for looking at emails? The FBI, really? That is the story. There should have been no federal interest in this case. Look at the things being done across this country in government, in banking, corporations, terrorism, real crimes, with real victims, And the FBI goes after this? Why no reporting on that? Sorry Bryan, but Larry Mendte has apologized and redeemed himself. Cant’s say the same for Alycia or the system that allowed this to happen.

        • DanielleG

          Stick to the story idiot!! Everyone is so tough behind their computer! You do not know the details so end it!!!

      • Cellar Rat

        It’s disingenuous then, to say he wants answers and not get them from the only people that have them, if indeed the rest of his.statements are true. It doesn’t matter. They’ll all be subpoenaed in the end, including the governor himself. And if the alternate theory proves correct, (see Rachel Maddow here: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-heart-the-scandal) then there’s a whole new string of emails, texts and phone calls to be uncovered that will bury them all. I state with a sense of certainty that this will not end well. Even if he was keeping up his plausible deniabilty regarding the mayor of Fort Lee, there’s other cans of worms slithering open…

  • Rich-D

    I am not a big fan of Christie, nor am I sure that he would make the best candidate for president. I reserve my opinion until I hear from all of the republican candidates. However, I was impressed with the manner in which he handled himself during what amounted to a 2 hour public interrogation by the media. I came away with the impression that Christie did what had to be done in a candid, professional and intelligent manner. Hopefully, he will not be implicated in the dastardly act in the course of the FBI Investigation.

    • Larry Mendte


  • Jason Tweed

    I like CC. He’s a freethinker which the GOP definitely needs. I was a big fan of John McCain, and bowing down to the party by nominating Sarah Palin probably cost him the election. The tea party is a vocal minority. They are going to hate Chris Christie, but they’re not exactly going to jump ship for Hillary Clinton either. I agree with you, I’d rather have a leader who is fallible but apologetic than one who is falsely resolute in their perfection.

  • cdonoian

    Presidents from Clinton to Obama, should be made to study Gov. Christie`s public performance to uphold his honesty and dignity. He is what he is and that’s hard for the scab polito`s to understand. Congratulations to him and my admiration for a public official to stand up and face issues.

    • DanielleG

      The only reason he finally “stood up” is because his back was up against the wall!! Please don’t tell me that you believe he knew nothing about this? What was the comment,”yeah I moved the cones” about if he knew nothing? He knew everything& if I am correct, it will eventually come out that he orchestrated part or all of this.. Anyone that does not say or do what Christie wants ultimately pays the price. That price can be a grant, a job or in this case, a huge traffic nightmare!! Only in New Jersey!!!

  • Pee Bee

    Too bad Christie didn’t take accountability. He lied. He knew about this at least a month ago. Phone conversation with Andrew Cuomo proves it.


  • Pee Bee

    Too bad Christie didn’t take accountability. It has come out that he lied during the press conference. He knew about this over a month ago. He asked Andrew Cuomo to back off the investigation on a phone call.


  • Larry G

    Thank you for
    giving us the detailed regurgitation of the Shawn Hannity program from last
    night. You either know nothing about the relationship of the individuals in the
    Fort Lee issue to Christi (his closest
    advisors who work in the same office) and compare them to the policies and actions
    of people who are bureaucrats that Barak Obama has never met or encountered. You pretend that Barak Obama is all seeing
    and all knowing, yet Christi si given a pass when he claims he knew nothing of what is happening in the next
    office. The actions in Fort Lee had only
    mal-intent. Yet you compare them the to
    the manufactured issues at the IRS or NSA which were agency functions that were
    following their charged duties. Actions speak much louder than words. When Gov Christi said he first learned of what
    had happened I don’t understand why he never picked up the phone when his
    appointee and friend on the Port Authority Board Resigned a month ago.

    • Jane Yavis

      Seems the only defense any Fair and Balanced Talking Heads have for Christie is to use him io parrot the same assigned talking points.

      • Larry Mendte

        No Jane, the best defense is that there is NO EVIDENCE at all linking him to this. When and if that happens, he is done. But right now he has a strong personal defense that has nothing to do with talking points.

  • Mike Masco

    Excellent Article. I agree with all your points. PLUS he went on record as saying he had NO involvement. You’ll typically see a politician hedge their speech because the investigation is looming. You’ll hear words like “not to my knowledge at that time” type of talk.. He knows damn well a formal investigation with serious consequences is the next step. He wouldn’t back himself into the corner unless he had complete confidence this wouldn’t come back to bite him in the butt. I believe him. His speech was authentic and showed leadership. He took action and removed the cavities in his administration. Remember this is a guy who locked up politicians for corruptions.. I’ll go out on a limb and say the last thing he’d become is the very same person he put away. PLUS over a traffic jam he’ll jeopardize his career and run for prez? Let’s be smart people.

    • Susie from Philly

      What he meant was, “I’ve cleaned up the trail and there’s no way you can prove I had anything to do with it.” And if you believe otherwise, you’re a chump.

    • Jane Yavis

      Mike, he locked up political enemies for and saved political allies from corruption.

  • PaDelta

    Imagine if these GOP-Tea Party thugs ever got into the White House and who they would have punished.

  • John Morrison

    If you believe his inner staff acted without his approval, you are some kind of naive fool. Of course he knew and he demanded it happen. Get over yourself.

  • In the Know

    Even way down here in the South, the sound of emails being deleted when all this hit the fan was deafening. Anyone who has ever worked for local, state, or federal government knows how the games are played. It makes me so disgusted to hear how so many are overly impressed when a politician pulls a rabbit out of the hat–like the magician, he can do this because he PUT the rabbit there. Everything is orchestrated. Everything. Look at the facts, the evidence, the hard copies of the trail–don’t just listen to the politicians. Then, make up your mind based on the evidence–which as I said was being deleted right and left.

  • Johnny Jay

    Don’t set the bar so low. If you’re swayed by one Chris Christie press conference, you’re naive and you’ll believe anything. This man’s political future is on the line, and he just played you all like a fiddle. Also, I’ve got a bridge for sale if anyone’s interested.

  • Philly_Jeff

    Sounds like an Andy Reid PC

  • Cellar Rat

    Aaaaaand now it’s come out that the mayor of Jersey City suddenly had all his meetings with high ranking cabinet members cancelled the very morning after he refused to endorse Christie for governor. And then there’s those pesky tourism commercials/political ads for re-election. He’s a petty, punitive and vindictive bully who thinks nothing of taking money from the Sandy fund and the folks that really need it to have expensive campaign ads starring his family produced under the guise of tourism advertising. Just the kind of guy I want as Commander in Chief. NOT. Can you imagine what might happen if some other world leader pissed him off? It’s frightening. He can keep up his “plausible deniability” all he wants. The leader sets the tone. His aides know what he wants and what’s expected of them, whether he’s on the email chain or not. “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest???” is as good as an order of execution.