First on CNN: Dem group goes after Chris Christie on bridge controversy
December 10th, 2013
07:55 PM ET
9 years ago

First on CNN: Dem group goes after Chris Christie on bridge controversy

(CNN) - A Democratic group is going up with one of their first attacks against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over his administration's lane closures to one of the nation's busiest bridges, allegedly for political purposes.

Correct the Record, formed in part to defend Hillary Clinton, is an arm of American Bridge, an pro-Democratic group that specializes in opposition research. The group launched a graphic Tuesday showing the Republican Garden State leader in front of the George Washington Bridge with a traffic sign that says "political retribution" and "Lane closed. Expect Christie?"

The issue began in September, on the first day of school, when two of the three access lanes from Fort Lee to the bridge were shut down. The closures sparked speculation by Democrats that the action amounted to political retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee who did not endorse Christie's re-election.

The Christie administration has brushed off the controversy saying Democrats were the ones playing politics with the matter.

Asked about the closures at a press conference on Monday, Christie responded sarcastically: "I moved the cones, actually unbeknownst to everybody."

But Correct the Record said Christie needs to be held accountable for the lane closures.

"Chris Christie owes the people of New Jersey straight answers about his role in this alleged abuse of power for political retribution," Adrienne Elrod, communications director at Correct the Record. "Chris Christie should come clean about any knowledge of or involvement with these lane closures rather than offer glib and flippant deflections."

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey testified before the New Jersey state legislature Tuesday that the closures were done at the direction of David Wildstein, a political appointee of the governor. The administration said the closures were for a traffic study but port authority officials testifying Monday said there was no such study. Wildstein announced last week that he would resign over the controversy, saying the issue had become a "distraction."

The Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said last month the traffic study was meant to judge whether Fort Lee needed three of the 12 lanes to the bridge.

Christie reiterated that sentiment at the press conference saying: "We should look at this policy because I don’t know why one town gets three lanes."

CNN's Ashley Killough and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Filed under: American Bridge • Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Lionel

    I love it. Chris Christie has some explaining to do. Is he another bully who wants to be president.

    December 10, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. king

    its crazy how this country is in the stone age, and repubs thumb their collective noses of our broken and out dated infrastructure. when will we rebuild our country. china is salivating right now, because they see america as a stalemate country, with the repubs trying like hell to bring our country back into the 20th century, while they are pushing like hell to go into the 21st century. i wonder who will be the most powerful country in the next ten years.

    December 10, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. Norma Vessels

    Mr. Christie, you're huffing and puffing. Can you blow this scandal down? Looks a little heavy to me.

    December 10, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    These republican idiots go for wars to make money than working on INFRASTRUCTURE, WHILE EVEN THIRD WORLD NATIONS ARE FOCUSING ON INFRASTRUCTURE, very pathetic. In USA, need lot of work on infrastructure.

    December 10, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. MaryM

    Christie buddy shut down the lanes on the bridge causing gridlock for miles and miles

    December 10, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    You mean my Governor isn't a Saint? Say it ain't so!

    December 10, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  7. S. B. Stein

    There a lot of things that Christie should have done better. He could have started the ARC tunnel because it would have paid for itself with the tolls and the income tax from all those people working in NYC.

    December 10, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Folks, lets face it. Before Hurricane Sandy the bully from NJ was known for just that, bullying and talking back to his constituents and doing very little for NJ.
    All he did was shake hands with our President when NJ needed money.
    BTW – I was speaking to a co worker yesterday who lives in NJ and they are none too happy with this guy about what he has NOT done at the Jersey shore.

    December 11, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  9. Sonia

    This doesn't mention that the police, local officials, the mayor. . . no one was notified of the "study" and repeated inquiries by local government were ignored during the closure. This smells really fishy and I hope the press will keep pursuing it. I used to like CC, but he's really starting to seem petty, calculating and political.

    December 11, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |