- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Republicans praise handling of ‘Bridgegate’ scandal by N.J. governor Chris Christie
Leading Republicans on Sunday rushed to the defense of embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as he contends with the so-called Bridgegate scandal that threatens to undermine his 2016 White House hopes.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Ariozna Sen. John McCain and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus were among the top GOP figures who said Mr. Christie, the outspoken second-term governor who sits atop the Republican field in some early presidential primary polls, deserves credit for the way he’s handled the unfolding controversy.
“He admitted mistakes happen. He admitted he trusted people that lied to him,” Mr. Priebus said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. Americans are “a forgiving people, but they’re forgiving when you take ownership, you make mistakes you take corrective action, and that’s what Chris Christie showed.”
Last week, Mr. Christie cut ties with two top aides who helped orchestrate weeklong lane closures along the George Washington Bridge, which connects New York and New Jersey. The move apparently was political payback against Fort Lee, N.J., Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who didn’t endorse Mr. Christie’s re-election bid last year.
The matter has sparked both state and federal investigations and given Mr. Christie’s critics, who paint him as a bully bent on getting what he wants at all costs, additional ammunition.
While there is no evidence Mr. Christie knew anything about the situation, some Democrats believe his denials simply aren’t believable.
“I don’t think it’s credible for a governor to have his chief of staff, his communications director, his deputy chief of staff, all involved, his chief counsel, all involved in email communications on the day this took place and the days after talking not only about the problems that were created in Fort Lee but also talking about how to spin it to the press,” said state Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democrat who leads the Assembly's Transportation Committee and is heading up a state investigation.
As the controversy swirls around him, Mr. Christie has plenty of allies coming to his aid.
Leading GOP strategist Karl Rove said on “Fox News Sunday” that the scandal will by no means sink Mr. Christie’s presidential hopes and that it will be hard for Democrats to use the issue against him.
Mr. Giuliani said he believes the scandal will “go away” in relatively short order.
Going a step further, Mr. Priebus argued that Mr. Christie actually has demonstrated a sharp contrast with President Obama. The president, Mr. Priebus said, failed to hold anyone accountable following the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov, last year’s revelation that the IRS targeted conservative groups and other recent incidents.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Hard-fought congressional election in Florida is seen as a bellwether
- Former Iowa GOP chief takes post with Rand Paul PAC
- CPAC 2014: Straw poll signals Paul-Cruz showdown for conservative voters
- CPAC 2014: Poll shows GOP discontent, Congress frustration
- Palin dings Obama, calls for conservative reinforcements in Washington
Latest Blog Entries
- Most New Jersey voters say Gov. Chris Christie lied
- Political handicapper: GOP poised to win House seats in 2014
- Axelrod: Christie can recover from the bridge scandal
- ACLJ: Appointment of Obama supporter to lead IRS probe 'troubling'
- Americans support minimum wage increase, extending jobless benefits: poll
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- White House: Exporting natural gas to Europe, Ukraine not the answer
- China's President Xi urges Obama to show restraint with Russia, urges diplomatic solution
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to meet with Obama at White House
- Cruz: Putin taking advantage of Obama's weakness
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Unanimous Senate passes bill on military sex assault to give victims more say in prosecution
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again