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White House steers clear of Christie’s traffic jam scandal

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President Obama may have bonded with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over disaster aid, but the president wasn't offering his Republican buddy any words of encouragement Thursday as Mr. Christie grappled with a political disaster.

White House press secretary Jay Carney, asked by reporters if the president had any thoughts on Mr. Christie's "Bridgegate" scandal, said only: "It sounds very much like a state matter to me."

Mr. Carney said he had not spoken to the president in the past 24 hours about the situation in New Jersey, where Mr. Christie has fired a top aide for allegedly orchestrating a week-long traffic jam as political revenge against a Democratic mayor.

During Mr. Obama's reelection campaign in late 2012, Mr. Christie ruffled some Republican feathers by praising the president for his response with the promise of federal aid for New Jersey and other states hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.

Both men have used the episode as an example of their ability to work across the partisan divide.

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