New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has found himself in hot water over emails and text messages indicating his office was involved in lane closings that caused major gridlocks in the heart of Fort Lee. One media pundit is even recommending the governor resign.
The correspondence obtained by The New York Times suggests the closings were retribution from Christie’s staff against Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor, who did not endorse the Republican governor’s re-election bid.
Christie’s re-election campaign hoped bipartisan mayoral support would portray the governor as a leader who could work with both parties, in preparation for a potential presidential bid in 2016, according to The Times. Christie denied any involvement or knowledge of the incident, but the highly redacted emails and text messages detailed by The Times suggest his staff was at the heart of it all.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Christie said:
“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper led a round-table discussion Wednesday on “The Lead,” asking participants about Christie’s statement.
Tapper pointed out that instead of apologizing, Christie put the blame on others, saying he was “misled.”
“I hope that’s true,” CNN “Crossfire” host, S.E. Cupp said. “I hope that he wasn’t involved. But if he was, and if he knows that he was and this will come out later, let me lay out a scenario, if I were giving him advice that I know he won’t take: Resign now.”
If Christie resigns, his supporters will come out, and “he will be the martyr and a hero,” Cupp said, suggesting that over the next two years the governor could quietly plan a presidential bid for 2016, “and by the time the campaign rolls around, this will be done.”
“He’ll say, ‘What do you want from me? I resigned. I did what’s best for New Jersey,’” she said.
Watch the exchange beginning at the 5:30 mark via CNN:
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