(CNN) – As Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie find themselves wrapped in scandals this week, can the two potential 2016 presidential frontrunners survive the political backlash?
Republicans have renewed their criticism of Clinton after the release of a bipartisan report by the Senate Intelligence Committee that concluded the attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 was "likely preventable."
And Democrats have come down hard on Christie for the controversy in New Jersey over alleged political retribution by top aides to the governor that closed access lanes to the nation's busiest bridge. The gridlock on the George Washington Bridge allegedly was retaliation for a Democratic mayor's failure to endorse the Christie's re-election.
Recent polls show the two deadlocked in a hypothetical presidential matchup. So will either scandal sink these top contenders?
"If Hillary can stand Whitewater, travelgate, Benghazi, then Chris Christie can get through a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge," Former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said on CNN's Crossfire.
DeLay said more than a year after the fatal attack in Libya, the country has yet to find out what actually happened.
"You're talking to me about trying to get to the truth about what's going on when the left, quite frankly, main strategy is criminalization politics - they want to bury Christie, bankrupt him, destroy his political career, put him in prison."
DeLay said Democrats might find that the bridge scandal benefits Christie's presidential aspirations, calling the New Jersey governor "one tough hombre" and a "refreshing" change from the run-of-the-mill politician.
Crossfire co-host Newt Gingrich said while the left is occupied with Christie's scandal in New Jersey, 15 people have died trying to cooperate with the Benghazi investigation.
The Senate report also found that 15 people cooperating with the Benghazi investigation had been killed, hindering the investigation, though it was not clear if the killings were related to the probe.
Christie gave a two-hour news conference about the bridge scandal, which is relatively small, Gingrich said, compared with the lives that were lost in the attack in Benghazi.
"When do we get the Hillary Clinton, clear the air, tell the truth about what actually happened, both in the cover-up phase during the campaign and in the actual ground events? Doesn't (Clinton) owe the nation some kind of clear, decisive report?" Gingrich said.
But Democratic strategist and CNN commentator Paul Begala noted that Clinton has testified under oath about the attack. Christie has not testified under oath about the bridge tie-ups, he added.
"The bullying tactics he's using in his own defense, I think, are also part of his political problem. He really does need to come clean. The press conference was fine. He really needs to put out documents," he said.
Christie's administration hired outside legal help on Thursday as a special state legislative committee decided to issue 20 subpoenas to launch its formal investigation over the scandal.
Crossfire co-host Stephanie Cutter argued that while the right is obsessing over Clinton and the Benghazi report, important issues, such as extending unemployment benefits, are falling by the wayside.