Speaking at his high school alma mater in Livingston, New Jersey, Chris Christie officially announced his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination today.
“This country needs to work together, not against each other,” he said. “We must tell each other the truth about the problems we have and the difficulty of the solution.… Truth and hard decisions today will lead to growth and opportunity tomorrow for every American in this country.… We are going to tell it like it is today so we can create a better opportunity for every American tomorrow. The truth will set us free, everybody.”
Christie didn’t really expand on what those truths are, but added that “our government isn’t working any more for us… and it’s the fault of our bickering leaders.” Christie leaned heavily on his six years as governor of New Jersey in his announcement, singling out the overhaul of teacher tenure. “Not only can you govern this state, you can lead it to a better day,” he said.
So what kind of campaign is Christie going to run? He said the usual: He’d be an honest, blunt campaigner. He said he wouldn’t be focus-grouping his answers, and would not rely on political consultants to give him his answers to questions. He said the country was anxious, adding “that anxiety can be swept away by strong leadership.” He tried to strike a bipartisan, anti-Washington tone, talking (in vague terms) about the failures of both Republicans and Democrats.
All across Gloucester County, power is still out from last Tuesday’s massive thunderstorm. And Gloucester County’s local politicians are angered by the lack of help coming from the state.
According to CBS Philly and NBC Philadelphia, 4,400 customers of Atlantic City Electric remain without power almost an entire week after the large storm that swept across Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Mayor George Shivery of Greenwich Township called upon Governor Chris Christie to declare a state of emergency for the area and help out with the restoration efforts. Meanwhile, Atlantic City Electric, for their part, has pledged that 99 percent of customers will get power back. Read more »
N.J. Chris Christie is still mulling a presidential run, but he’s still plagued by fallout from the Bridgegate scandal. The latest problem? An accusation he violated grand jury secrecy rules.
The accusation comes from David Wildstein, a central figure in the Bridgegate scandal. The New York Times reports: “Mr. Wildstein’s statement, in a civil case separate from the federal prosecution in the bridge case, offers the first insider confirmation of a long-rumored tale of New Jersey political corruption, and places Mr. Christie at the center of it. It also portrays the governor, a former United States attorney, casually revealing information about a grand jury proceeding he had overseen, which violates federal law.” Read more »
Chris Christie bats in the True Blue charity softball game last night at Yankee Stadium. (Associated Press Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Chris Christie played baseball as a kid. He is actually a member of the Little League Baseball Hall of Fame (more due to his notoriety, though his dad said he did hit more than 15 homers in Little League). He was the starting catcher on the Livingston High School baseball team until a transfer student came in and took his spot. (Christie’s family considered legal action but decided against it; Livingston won the state title.)
Last night, Christie played in the True Blue charity softball game at Yankee Stadium, a benefit for three recently slain New York police officers: Brian Moore, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
It is great that baseball is the national pastime, because it means politicians occasionally dress up in baseball uniforms. Baseball players kind of look silly in baseball uniforms, and non-athletes look even sillier. Read more »
“Today’s charges make clear that what I’ve said from day one is true,” Christie said, via Twitter. “I had no knowledge or involvement in the planning or execution of this act. The moment I first learned of this unacceptable behavior I took action, firing staff believed to be accountable, calling for an outside investigation and agreeing to fully cooperation with all appropriate investigations, which I have done. Now 15 months later is it time to let the justice system do its job.”
[Update 2 p.m.] Vox has some additional details, including news that two other officials have been indicted in the case:
David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official, pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy — for having intentionally misapplied the agency’s property, and for violating the rights of the town’s residents to travel.
Two other former members of the administration, Bridget Kelly (Christie’s ex-deputy chief of staff) and Bill Baroni (the top operational Port Authority official appointed by Christie), were charged on multiple similar counts.
In addition, Vox reports, there are other, as-yet-unindicted co-conspirators referred to by prosecutors.
In this Jan. 9, 2014 file photo, David Wildstein, who was Christie’s No. 2 man at the Port Authority, speaks during a hearing at the Statehouse in Trenton. The Christie administration stands accused of closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge, linking New York and New Jersey, in order to create a huge traffic backup as retribution against a local mayor for not endorsing the governor’s reelection. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
David Wildstein, a former ally of N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, is expected to plead to charges related to the “Bridgegate” scandal, according to reports.
Chris Christie went on the Tonight Show Wednesday night — unfortunately, there were no dance routines for him this time. Instead he kept it relatively straight — if you ignore all the mugging and eyebrow wagging at the crowd — and discussed his presidential prospects: An announcement will come in May or June, he said. Read more »
Chris Christie isn’t even a declared presidential candidate — yet — but he’s already got some fighting words ready for Hillary Clinton.
“If I run, I will beat her,” Christie told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday.
Hewitt, sensibly, asked which “blue” states Christie might win back from Democrats to make that happen. Christie’s first answer was automatic: Pennsylvania. The Keystone State has watched him govern New Jersey for more than five years, he said, and is comfortable with his style.
“If I were to run, I think Pennsylvania is a state that is very much in play,” Christie told Hewitt.
Maybe. But the evidence suggests that Clinton already has a head start on Christie in Pennsylvania. Read more »
MANCHESTER, N.H.—Gov. Chris Christie called for reduced Social Security benefits for seniors earning over $80,000 and eliminating the benefit entirely for individuals making $200,000 and up, along with raising the retirement age to 69 from 67.
“Social Security at its core should be retirement insurance,” Mr. Christie said during his speech before roughly 120 people. “The wealthiest of us don’t need these benefits.”
“Washington is afraid to have an honest conversation about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid with the people of our country,” Christie will say in a speech at New Hampshire’s St. Anselm College Institute of Politics. “I am not.”
The idea could have some appeal — hey, why should Warren Buffett collect a Social Security check when he’s already super-rich? — but three reasons why Christie’s effort might not work all that well: Read more »