The head of the Democratic National Committee pounced Wednesday on news reports that link New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to lane closures on the George Washington Bridge and raise additional questions about whether the closures were part of a politically fueled vendetta against a Democrat who refused to endorse Mr. Christie for re-election.
“The latest news in Chris Christie’s bridge scandal indicates political retribution and raises a host of new questions,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat and DNC chairwoman. “What is crystal clear is that the Governor’s office ordered lane closures that were intended to make first responders experience delays, kids sit gridlocked on the first day of school, and commuters hit log jams, to punish the Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse Chris Christie’s re-election bid.”
NorthJersey.com reported Wednesday that it had obtained private messages between Mr. Christie’s deputy chief of staff and a couple of his top executives at the Port Authority that show a vengeful effort against the mayor of Fort Lee, which sits on the other side of the bridge, by creating traffic on the George Washington bridge.
In an Aug. 13 email, Bridget Anne Kelly, one of three deputies on Mr. Christie’s senior staff, told David Wildstein, a top Christie executive at the Port Authority, that it is “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
On Sept. 9, the first day of school, two local access lanes were closed from Fort Lee to the bridge.
Questions about the Christie administration’s involvement in the episode have cast a dark shadow over the Republican’s landslide victory in the November election and raised questioned about his likely presidential bid in 2016.
Mrs. Wasseman Schultz said that the revelations speak to Mr. Christie’s vindictive political nature.
“When people question him, he belittles and snidely jokes. And when anyone dares to look into his Administration, he bullies and attacks,” she said. “For 121 days, Chris Christie disparaged the questioners and later lied saying no one in his office was involved. That was clearly untrue given the discovery of emails that came directly from his own top staff. Time’s up, Governor.”