Bush silent on Christie bridge joke
March 21st, 2014
01:58 PM ET
9 months ago

Bush silent on Christie bridge joke

(CNN) – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush didn't take the bait Friday when he was jokingly asked if he had closed any bridges during his time as governor.

The moment came during an appearance at the Broward County economic forum in Davie, Florida, where Bush, a potential presidential candidate, delivered a keynote address before sitting down for a Q&A on stage.

The moderator pointed out that Bush at one point mentioned an issue involving the Port of Newark in New Jersey and the Bayonne Bridge, which connects the Garden State to Staten Island in New York.

"I know you're trying to be nonpolitical this morning, but I did notice on a subliminal level you managed to put in the same sentence 'New Jersey' and 'bridge,’" the moderator said, drawing laughs from the audience.

While Bush didn't actually say the name of the state in that portion of his remarks, he conceded that he had talked about New Jersey.

"Anyway, just to clear the subject," the moderator continued. "When you were governor, did you ever close any bridges for traffic studies?"

Pausing for a few seconds as the audience laughed, Bush stayed silent and made the zipping-up-the-lips gesture, instead.

The joke was in reference to another potential 2016 contender, Gov. Chris Christie.

The New Jersey Republican's administration is under investigation over suggestions top appointees orchestrated traffic gridlock near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee last year to politically punish that town’s mayor for not endorsing their boss for reelection.

No officials have been accused of any wrongdoing, but the scandal has called into question Christie’s forceful governing style and clouded any prospects for a potential presidential run.

State officials initially blamed the gridlock on a traffic study, which has since been called into question.

A state legislative committee and the U.S. Attorney's office are looking into the matter.

Christie has maintained that he didn't know anything about it until after it occurred.

As the scandal as unfolded, Christie's numbers in 2016 presidential polls have dropped, while Bush has gained some traction.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Chris Christie • Florida • Jeb Bush • New Jersey
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. smith

    I see the race card has been thrown. If you don`t like Obama or disagree with his agenda your a racist bigot. smh

    March 21, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Fair is Fair: "Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Dean
    Bush has class. Something sadly missing in the current White House.

    Why is that Dean? Because President Obama and his family are black?
    ---
    That didn't take long.

    ---

    What other explanation is there? President and Mrs. Obama have worked tirelessly from day one to help our country, and have shown nothing but class and restraint in the face of all the hate from the right (everything from the President depicted as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose to people referring to the FLOTUS as "Moo-chelle").

    March 21, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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