- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 12, 2014

The presidential hopes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie likely will survive the unfolding George Washington Bridge scandal, leading Republican strategist Karl Rove said Sunday.

“I think [Christie] did himself a lot of good by stepping forward and being very straightforward and very candid and very blunt and taking immediate action,” Mr. Rove said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”

“It’s going to be hard for Democrats to turn this into an issue. The question is whether the facts are going to turn this into an issue,” he said, adding that Mr. Christie likely will emerge from the firestorm in relatively good political shape as long as he’s been honest with the people of his state.

On Thursday, Mr. Christie — a brash second-term Republican who is widely expected to mount a White House bid in 2016 and leads some early polling — fired his chief of staff and removed a top adviser after emails and texts showed they orchestrated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, leading to a week-long traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J.


The move apparently was political payback against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who didn’t endorse Mr. Christie’s re-election bid last year.

Mr. Christie’s swift response to the scandal, Mr. Rove said, may actually endear him to conservatives who previously were skeptical of the outspoken governor.