January 9th, 2014
09:17 AM ET
3 months ago

Will Christie take his own advice?

(CNN) – On Election Day 2013, CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie how he would advise President Obama, who at the time was embroiled in a controversy about whether he misled the American people over being able to keep their health plans.

"Here's what my suggestion would be to him," Christie said then. "Don't be so cute. And when you make a mistake, admit it...Say, 'you know what? I said it, I was wrong. I'm sorry, and we're going to try to fix this and make it better.'"

Tapper, host of CNN's "The Lead," reports that sources close to Christie say people shouldn't be surprised if they see the governor take his own advice at a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. ET.

Christie said back in the November interview he thought "people would give any leader in that circumstance a lot of credit for just, you know, owning up to it, instead of now trying to like - don't lawyer it. People don't like lawyers. I'm a lawyer. They don't like them. Don't lawyer it....People want leaders, not lawyers."

The recently re-elected governor is now embroiled in his own scandal, as new emails show members of his staff were involved in what appears to be a political vendetta against the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey.

The apparent retribution came when Christie's staff and appointees orchestrated the closure of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, the nation's busiest, a move that caused serious traffic jams and turned Fort Lee into a parking lot for four days.

Christie has long denied that he was aware of the lane closures until they were happening. On Wednesday, he said in a statement he did not know members of his staff were involved in the plan until Wednesday.

"What I've seen today for the first time is unacceptable," he said. "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."

"This behavior is not representative of me or my administration in any way," he added, "and people will be held responsible for their actions."


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I bet Faux "News" will barely cover this.

    January 9, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    "Don't be so cute. And when you make a mistake, admit it...Say, 'you know what? I said it, I was wrong. I'm sorry, and we're going to try to fix this and make it better.'"

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Christie sure thought he was "cute" when he was making light of the situation a few weeks ago.? How could he "fix this and make it better" being as it's already in the past and the damage can't be undone? It's not like he can bring back anyone who died because EMS was delayed getting to them during those four days. This debacle speaks volumes about his character though.

    January 9, 2014 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  3. simplyput

    Nah, I say let him step down and lead the prosecution to impeach Barack Insane Obama....only the most arrogant of liars would use the term "Promise Zones" to advance illegal immigration in San Antonio, TX.

    January 9, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Fox failed to release any of the e mails about bridge gate yesterday, so the right wingnuts are not aware of the involvement by Christie's staffers.

    January 9, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. sifto

    Obama and Hilary scandals barely covered by CNN....Today , they have made this local bridge closing a major international incident! "what difference does it make?!"

    January 9, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Christie has long denied that he was unaware of the lane closures until they were happening. On Wednesday, he said in a statement he did not know members of his staff were involved in the plan until Wednesday.
    ----------------------
    Wrong. Christie has long maintained that the closures were due to a "traffic study" that no one but two of his political appointees knew about ahead of time. "Mistakes were made," Christie had said, meaning that proper notification procedures were not followed, which left local officials in the dark.

    Christie has evolved from knowing about a "traffic study," which produced no data, to not knowing anything at all. Either he's lying, or his staff has lied to him. The latter scenario just seems highly unlikely behavior by the staff of someone who runs as tight a ship as Christie portrays. Does anyone remember the "no child left behind" application debacle by his staff during his first year in office?

    January 9, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  7. Durundal

    considering there tons of youtube videos of christie raging out of control and bullying in public, im surprised this guy is still around.

    January 9, 2014 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    WOW. Chris Christie comment sections are certainly being shut down early.

    "What I've seen today for the first time is unacceptable," he said."

    What I'm wondering is why when it was apparent that lanes WERE shut down, he never questioned the gridlock to begin with. One presumes the CEO of that particular "bridge" ought to have understood the impact the lane closures were having on the citizens of his state ... including but not limited to just the children of Buono voters. Instead, he chose to sit back and laugh right along with the rest of his administration ... else those closed lanes would have immediately been re-opened.

    January 9, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. O'drama ya Mama

    You see Republicans, this is what a real scandal looks like. Accusations are being made as evidence rolls in not the other way around.

    January 9, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    I thought he was out moving the traffic cones that day: talk about being cute about something.

    January 9, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Here is the real question – is Christie's indignation the result of his subordinates causing this fiasco, or is it because the fiasco was uncovered by the press? Either way, you can be pretty sure those same subordinates will be allowed to retire with their pensions. Why? Because that's the way state governments run. We actually had to pass a law in Connecticut, whereby any public official who committed a felony associated with their office is denied their government pension.

    January 9, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. Malory Archer

    sifto

    Obama and Hilary scandals barely covered by CNN....

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, because they've been gone over with a fine tooth comb by the reichwing congressional investigation committee, and there's no "there" there. Considering issa and the reichwing congressional witch hunt committee have spent years grasping at straws andturning over rocks in a effort to get ANYTHING incriminating on President Obama, it's pretty safe to say they're wasting everyone's time and taxpayer $$$ on nothing more than sour grapes.

    January 9, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Tampa Tim wrote:

    Fox failed to release any of the e mails about bridge gate yesterday, so the right wingnuts are not aware of the involvement by Christie's staffers.
    ---------------
    They've been cherry picking. I've only seen them recite the most volatile stuff. Last night I watched Greta Van recite only the first sentence of the "press release" that Christie released late yesterday. Fox has been withholding, that's for sure.

    January 9, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  14. rs

    As it stands, Christie's advice is sound. We have a real problem (as individuals, groups, corporations or a nation) admitting a screw-up. The inevitable "slow-death" of greater revelations of the extent of the problem is what blows these things into the crises they evolve into. Just think about Target, or the ACA web site, the trans-Canada XL pipeline leak in ND, Fukashima powerplant and more that took days to evolve and do their damage- and yes, even Christie's bridgegate.
    Which only goes to show that really good advice can come from people who can't follow their own.

    January 9, 2014 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. Anonymous

    "..........else those closed lanes would have immediately been re-opened"............

    Exactly.

    January 9, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    I think we might be witnessing the classic, slow motion train wreck. One where the coverup is worse than the crime.

    January 9, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  17. Babyboomer

    He does need to follow his own advice although at this point it's probably too late. His comments from a couple of weeks ago about "being the guy putting out the orange cones" was "too cute" and dismissive. He should have done his homework just as he suggest President Obama do his... Pot meet kettle...

    January 9, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    sifto wrote:

    Obama and Hilary scandals barely covered by CNN....Today , they have made this local bridge closing a major international incident! "what difference does it make?!"
    ----------------
    Are you a frequent Fox News viewer? I noted that all of their prime time shows relegated 'bridgegate' to the second half hour. O'Reilly opened with a blistering recap of Benghazi, and a promise to bring the results of an exclusive Fox News investigation into the administration. Greta and Sean weren't much better. All of the hosts cherry picked the facts, and dismissed the story as less than what it is actually shaping up to be, leaving viewers misinformed and uninformed.

    January 9, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. rs

    Rudy NYC

    I think we might be witnessing the classic, slow motion train wreck. One where the coverup is worse than the crime.
    ____________________________
    Quite so. The problems these folks created were very real, and done both with malice and disregard for who might get hurt- that in my opinion makes it much, much worse. It is the sort of GOP "tribalism" that Mr. Romney personified when he dissed 47% of Americans.

    January 9, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. jpmichigan

    Christie a Republican, of course all of the media will cover this and hang him out to dry. Christie will tell it like is , something that should not of happened, unlike our President. All politicians move in circles of political baggage, some admit to mistakes and some develop and live on those mistakes.

    January 9, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. rs

    sifto

    Obama and Hilary scandals barely covered by CNN....Today , they have made this local bridge closing a major international incident! "what difference does it make?!"
    _________________________
    Your ability to distort a comment or quote isn't all that good. The critical difference here is that innocent bystanders were hurt- citizens, people these toads theoretically work for.

    January 9, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. dzerres

    He already had multiple chances to "man up" and not be cute or be a lawyer but he blew it. Now even if he comes clean its a little late – he only came clean when his fingerprints showed up all over the scandal. Can't wait for that one email not yet uncovered that shows he actually knew about it. That would be sweet.

    January 9, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. jpmichigan

    Christie a Republican, of course all of the media will cover this and hang him out to dry. Christie will tell it like is , something that should not of happened, unlike our President. All politicians move in circles of political baggage, some admit to mistakes and some develop and live on those mistakes. well CNN has already made its choice.

    January 9, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. ST

    What a big test for Christie. He has to be vivid, extra careful of what he has to say about the bridge-gate. I suspect there is more coming. It will be like drip, drip until he has been turned into ashes.

    January 9, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Christie a Republican, of course all of the media will cover this and hang him out to dry."

    Yeah, I know. While "Anti-Obama ... All day - Every Day" is your particular motto, Anti-Obama coverage does tend to lose its flavor on the bed post overnight. Repetition ad nauseum is the media's worst enemy.

    January 9, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
1 2 3