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. Marie MD

    Nice, shrub #3 never to be president skirting an important topic and issue.

    March 21, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Jeb's a smart man. Unlike many other conservatives out looking for a cheap sound bite, he knows when to zip it. I think Jeb/s biggest obstacle to a succesful run for the Whte House will be his administration's role in the 2000 Florida Presidential race. His integrity will be called into question over it. I'd be anxious to see how he would address the questions. I'd ask him now if I could.

    March 21, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. wise guy

    The jokes on us if he gets elected

    March 21, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Tom

    That makes him the smartest Bush to date.

    March 21, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. rs

    Smart man. There is no joke in the Christie matter, and until there is or isn't a definitive answer from the various investigations, we're all better served by not playing the hypotheticals.

    Saying that, the question I would have liked to have asked Mr. Bush (had I been present) would be along the lie lines of: "what roll did to and Neil Bush play in the savings & Loans failure crisis of the late '80s and early '90s? Did you profit from that crisis?

    March 21, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Bush 2016

    The 3ed times the charm .

    March 21, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Tampa Tim

    If Bush ignores the Krispy bridge joke, maybe Krispy will ignore Bush's "Stand your ground joke."

    March 21, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Dean

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

    March 21, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. smith

    People laughing and joking about the New Jersey bridge scandal. Most scandals people aren`t joking and laughing. Maybe its because the scandal is a joke.

    March 21, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. 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?

    March 21, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. Wallace Cleaver

    @smith
    People laughing and joking about the New Jersey bridge scandal. Most scandals people aren`t joking and laughing. Maybe its because the scandal is a joke.

    No Smith, the way you write is a joke.

    March 21, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Ol' Yeller

    Jeb would have likely been a better preseident than his simpleton brother, but the neo-cons needed an easily manipulated tool to implement their plan and smith and dean had no name recognition....

    March 21, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Naw. Jeb just handed his brother the Oval Office. And Jeff that is exactly what Dean meant though he will swear he didn't. I've heard the same thing said about Mrs.Obama.

    March 21, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    The whole family would be better served if they'd do one thing. GO AWAY.

    March 21, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Lolo

    Please stay out of the Bushes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 21, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Pray For Haters

    @Jeff Brown in Jersey
    Thanks for your response to Dean

    March 21, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Rudy NYC: "Jeb's a smart man. Unlike many other conservatives out looking for a cheap sound bite, he knows when to zip it."

    He's pulling a Mittens: staying out of the fray, waiting to be tapped by the gop leadership after all the clowns are done whipping the gop/tea bag base into a froth over how Hilary or any Dem would destroy our country.

    March 21, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Tampa Tim

    Me
    Bill from GA

    The Dems did great in 2006. Since then the right-wing propaganda network has been working overtime. That is obvious from some of the garbage from the righties posting here.

    The last time we had a balanced budget (surplus, actually) was from the Bill Clinton years. W & Dickie didn't like paying down our debt, so he cut taxes and started a useless war.
    _________________________
    I love all this talk about Clinton's “surplus”, go look at the debt clock, did the debt go down AT ANY TIME DURING HIS PRESIDENCY??? NO it did not therefore his surplus was WORTHLESS, he just spent the money on other things, negating the surplus!!! Get a clue!!!
    ----–
    Me, if you were to fact check you would be proven wrong. I know the geniuses who kept the Bush wars off the books are now crying that using cash expenditures versus accrual eliminates the surplus. No matter how you look at it, you are wrong. As a wingnut once put it, "get a clue."

    March 21, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

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

    You're confusing "class" with sitting, staying and shutting up until the gop puppet masters say it's OK.

    March 21, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Is Jeb an alcoholic like his brother George?

    March 21, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @smith: "People laughing and joking about the New Jersey bridge scandal. Most scandals people aren`t joking and laughing. Maybe its because the scandal is a joke."

    Tell that to the people in need who had to wait for emergency personnel stuck in traffic.

    March 21, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. 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.

    March 21, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. Gurgyl

    This guy is another pathetic idiot. No new Bush the thush.... Enough.

    March 21, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    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.
    =======================================
    Nope, it didn't. I'm disappointed whenever I see posts like that. Enjoy your weekend, Fair. We can box next week.

    March 21, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. smith

    My bad Wallace, next time I`ll do better just for you. You can go change diaper now.

    March 21, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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