Chicago (CNN) - His administration is facing multiple investigations, but Chris Christie says he's moving forward.
"Time will tell, but I believe that we are focused on the things we need to be focused on," the Republican governor of New Jersey said Tuesday afternoon at a question and answer session at the Economic Club of Chicago.
Christie was in Chicago as a New Jersey special investigative committee was expected to serve 18 more subpoenas in a controversy that has shaken the governor's political future. State lawmakers and the U.S. attorney's office are investigating allegations that top Christie appointees orchestrated traffic jams over several days last September 9 through 13 by closing access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee to politically punish that town's mayor for not endorsing the governor's reelection.
Christie has denied knowing anything about the gridlock until after it occurred, and has said he knew nothing about any political mischief by members of his administration. He's also facing allegations by the Democratic mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, that members of his administration held Superstorm Sandy recovery funds hostage in exchange for approval of a real estate development project in that city.
But Christie said he doesn't think the controversies will slow down his second term agenda in the Garden State.
"I don't think that it will curtail for the long haul a second term agenda because I don't think the public in New Jersey will tolerate it. The fact is they expect me and the legislature to continue to do what we did in the first four years, which is to find solutions to New Jersey's problems and get things done. And so while the last six weeks haven't been the most enjoyable of my life, I can guarantee you, on the other hand, the fact is, we need to do our work," Christie said.
The event was moderated by Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown, who asked Christie questions written ahead of time by Economic Club members. When Brown asked Christie about the bridge investigation, Christie joked that he was "shocked you brought that up."
Christie, who's seriously considering a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, was also in Chicago in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He was scheduled to hold one-on-one meetings with top donors and headline an RGA fundraiser.
Ever since the bridge controversy began making headlines late last year, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Governors Association, and some Democratic outside groups started training their firepower on the high profile Republican governor. And the DNC and other Democrats shadowed Christie during his RGA fundraising trips to Florida last month and Texas last week.
In Chicago, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland served as the Democratic surrogate.
"I'm here because Gov. Chris Christie, his office, at least, was engaged in reprehensible behavior," Strickland told CNN.
The groups are pushing the notion of Christie as a pariah, since there were no public appearances with Republicans in Christie's stops in Florida and Texas. Democrats highlighted reports the past few days that none of the four major Republican gubernatorial candidates in Illinois would appear with Christie. The RGA pushed back against those reports, pointing out there were never any plans for Christie to make joint appearances because the committee doesn't get involved in competitive primaries.
In the end, Bill Brady, one of those candidates, attended the economic forum.
"I don't understand why anyone wouldn't," Brady told CNN. "Chris and (wife) Mary are friends with Nancy and I. They campaigned with us in the last election. He's head of the Republican Governors Association which is going to raise a lot of money to help elect a Republican governor in Illinois," Brady added.
Bruce Rauner, the frontrunner in the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination according to the latest polling, was also expected to meet in private with Christie, aides to the governor and the candidate told CNN.
While the GOP is defending 22 of the 36 gubernatorial seats up for grabs this year, Illinois is one of the states where Republicans hope to play offense, as incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is considered vulnerable.
Hours before Christie headed to Chicago, the RGA announced that the committee raised $6 million last month, the most it's ever brought in during the month of January. The committee said the record haul was done with "the help of Chairman Christie and all of our Republican governors."
The RGA also reported that Christie raised $1.5 million during his stops in Texas last week.
Christie was overwhelmingly re-elected as New Jersey governor in November in a landslide victory over a little known Democratic opponent. He took over as RGA chairman a couple of weeks later. The move was seen as a stepping stone towards 2016. Then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry both served as RGA chairmen before launching White House runs.
CNN National Political Reporter Peter Hamby and CNN's Ashley Killough, Dana Davidsen, and Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this report.