Democrats turning up the volume on Christie bridge controversy
January 8th, 2014
03:27 PM ET
7 years ago

Democrats turning up the volume on Christie bridge controversy

Washington (CNN) - As new developments in the Chris Christie-George Washington Bridge controversy started making headlines on Wednesday, Democratic reaction came at a rapid fire pace.

The Democratic National Committee fired off multiple e-mails to political reporters, attacking New Jersey's Republican governor, who's considered a likely contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

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The party committee also quickly assembled and sent out two web videos.

"These revelations are troubling for any public official, but they also indicate what we've come to expect from Governor Christie – when people oppose him, he exacts retribution. When people question him, he belittles and snidely jokes. And when anyone dares to look into his Administration, he bullies and attacks," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, in a statement.

It was a similar message from Democrats in the Garden State.

"These e-mails demonstrate that under Governor Christie, vindictive political motivations were allowed to trump any regard for public safety," said New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie.

Even Steve Sweeney, the Democratic state Senate president who's worked closely with Christie over the years on some issues, said "what was revealed today is a clear indication that the investigation into this matter must continue," calling the controversy "the worst kind of politics."

E-mails emerged on Wednesday allegedly from Christie aides that bolster the argument by Democrats that access lane closures from Fort Lee, New Jersey to the George Washington Bridge last September were part of a political push back against opponents of the governor, and were not the result of an incompetent traffic study as his administration claimed.

There was no response from Christie's office for some seven hours after the story broke on Wednesday morning, but the Governor later in the day put out a statement saying "what I've seen today is unacceptable," adding that he was "misled by a member of his staff."

Christie insisted multiple times over the past couple of months that he knew nothing about any political vendetta against the Democratic Mayor of Fort Lee, who refused to endorse Christie as he ran for re-election last year.

Christie ended up winning a landslide re-election in November over little known Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono. Christie's re-election team actively sought out the endorsements of Democratic officials, in its push to win a major victory, as a prelude or launching pad to any 2016 White House bid.

National Democrats rarely attacked Christie during his re-election campaign, but following the election, the gloves have come off.

Christie, who's now criss-crossing the country, campaigning for fellow GOP governors as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, is seen as prime target, especially since three national polls, starting with a CNN/ORC International survey in November, indicated that Christie was the early frontrunner among the possible 2016 Republican contenders. And national and state Democrats have been relentless the past two months in highlighting the George Washington Bridge controversy.

"These days it's never too early to beat up a potential opponent," says Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publish of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. "Republicans have taken numerous shots at Hillary Clinton to soften her up for a potential 2016 run. Now it's the Democrats turn to throw some punches at Chris Christie.

Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Would You Look at That

    Gurgyl – you're pathetic.

    January 8, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Does Fox read excerpts from Gates' book to the mentally challenged so they can be outraged?"

    Yes, but just like CNN, they skip over the parts of the book where Gates excoriates the GOP/Teatroll controlled House because, well, IOKIYAR.

    January 8, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. tom l

    tom l

    A liberal posted this comment:

    "So much for the theory that he was a straight-shooter. It either means he was directly involved in what was going on, or he was oblivious: incompetant or corrupt is not a nice choice."


    Hilarious. I just think he took a course in "How to Lead" by President Obama. He certainly has followed the Obama doctrine on this.
    To be followed by Rand Paul's advice on how to annotate your research?


    Not bad but a bit of a non-sequitur. 🙂 Rather than go down a different line which just shows that there is hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle, which I clearly acknowledge every day, how about acknowledging that my point is quite valid? Christie is just doing what Obama has done with every scandal that his come his way. How many times did we hear from Obama "this is the first I heard of it". Christie is just doing what Obama has done time and again so I's either incompetence or corruption.

    January 8, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. tom l

    ""so you expect the news oultets to simply declare people guilty without a trial? of all people, you should be against a lawless lynching in the press."

    My god you're dense. The point is that CNN wrote that the emails were "allegedly" from Christie's aides. They're not. They are IRREFUTABLY from Christie's aids. it is not in dispute. These are emails produced by the Port Authority in response to the Assembly's subpoena. If you think that Christie's aides are going to try to claim that "someone hacked my email and sent those, not me," then I suggest you ask for an explanation for how well that excuse works from Carlos Danger himself."


    You're getting your panties in a bunch over a minor thing. Technically, it is "alleged" at this time and they are correct to use that term. You know it but you're just too partisan to acknowledge it.

    January 8, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Romney is STILL NOT My Hero

    @The Real Tom Paine
    BWHAHAHAHAHA!! She got the pop-up version. It's now RWNJ mandatory reading, right after My Pet Goat.

    January 8, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. rs

    The GOP: senseless obstruction (literally!) you can see and experience.

    January 8, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. yolanda

    Very bad. Make that indefensible The indignation on here is great entertainment. Less than 3 years until 2016 elections, so don't turn that dial.

    January 8, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. sly

    The Obese One is cooked. Toast. Stick a fork in him and watch him pop.

    I think Christie should go on tv and state "I am not a CROOK".

    Thank you Republicans for commiting political suicide. First TeaBillie Cruz tries to overthrown America by shutting down the government, now their only other candidate gets caught with his pants down.

    January 8, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. ColoRN

    ...wish the democrats would spend the time attempting to create SUSTAINABLE jobs, something they were allegedly elected to do.... this would end the need for extention of continuious unemployemnt benefits, put people in work, create MUCH NEEDED revenue! Government CAN NOT support the people of the country... it has been tried and failed miserably...witness the fall of Russia / communisim. ...witness the mess Cuba has been in since Fidel grabbed power!
    Democrats NEED to create jobs, not attempt their version of Robin Hood; taking from the successful and well to do and giving to everyone else! ...again, communism has FAILED!

    January 8, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. sly

    Gotta love the Headline!

    "Christie: I was mis-fed". (over and over again)

    January 8, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Emergency responders were delayed in attending to four medical situations – including one in which a 91-year-old woman lay unconscious – due to traffic gridlock caused by unannounced closures of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, according to the head of the borough’s EMS department.

    The woman later died, borough records show........"

    January 8, 2014 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "it is "alleged" at this time and they are correct to use that term. "

    No, technically it is not "alleged." It is admitted.

    January 8, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. scoot27

    And he just pulled an Obama, I don't know what is going on in my administration, both pathetic politicians.

    January 8, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Ken in MO

    I wonder if they will be outraged on Fox News? Somehow, I dont know how, but this will be President Obama's fault. Christy appears to be nothing but a thug. He seems to be a Soprano. I am shocked....NOT!!

    January 8, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Independent Thinker

    You know what they say about those who cast the first stone. Are you willing to be judged for your similar acts? What a bunch of hypocritical politicians. I am sick of both major political parties.

    January 8, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. 52pan

    Some how this is supposed to be as important as obama and the IRS, obama and Benghazi, obama and Fast and Furious.

    The kids are already late!!!! What difference does it make now?!!!!!

    January 8, 2014 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. VJ

    Conservatives loves Bridges – Remember Alaska's Bridge to no where project.

    January 8, 2014 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Pride goes before the fall. The big bad political bully is going to receive his just reward. If you believe Gov Christie's denial of involvement, there is a bridge spanning the SF bay that I want to sell you.

    January 8, 2014 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. Ol' Yeller

    "How many times did we hear from Obama "this is the first I heard of it"."
    How many time did we hear Obama say, "this is the first I heard of it", but then during the course of uncovering the story had to change it to .... There was no response from Christie's office for some seven hours after the story broke on Wednesday morning, but the Governor later in the day put out a statement saying "what I've seen today is unacceptable," adding that he was "misled by a member of his staff."
    I'll tell you... 0.
    Despite numerous investigations into every conceievable allegation on even the most baseless of allegations, Derwood Issa would issue subpeonas, have hearings, investigate, wave papers around, look serious for the cameras, and then have to admit they had nothing. Sometimes when someone says... this is the first I heard of it", it is because it is the first they have heard of it... because it is baseless. Baseless allegations would not have been heard about...
    Reality... now that's a diferent story. That is when people have to start backtracking, people start falling on their swords, people get fired... etc.
    Quit trying to compare this to some baseless attacks on Obama, because it isn't.
    Obama 'had never heard about' his NOT being born in America for a reason, silly boy.

    January 8, 2014 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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