Chris Christie: I Will Not Give in to Bridgegate Hysteria
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sat down for his monthly interview with NJ 101.5 radio Wednesday and lost his patience with host Eric Scott over questions surrounding BridgeGate. "I will not give in to the hysteria," he argued, adding that he did not have sufficient information before the release of damning emails in January.
Scott pressured Christie about how it was possible that he seemed not to ask many questions about the people surrounding him who had been involved in the so-called traffic study, particularly former Port Authority official Bill Baroni. "When Baroni resigned," Scott asked, "why didn't you talk to him about this?" Scott added that it should have seemed suspicious that so many people involved in the traffic study were resigning, particularly Baroni and former senior official David Wildstein.
"My staff had already spoken to him about it. He said it was a traffic study," Christie replied, and attempted to leave it at that. Christie added that as far as he knows "that's still Baroni's position."
Scott continued to ask the same question in different forms: how could Christie not be at least mildly curious about the situation, given everything happening around him? Eventually, Christie lost his patience and appeared to refuse any more questions on the matter, claiming, “You folks are the only people at the moment who are asking me about this." He then said he was done answering questions before the investigation concludes.
"We are going through an investigation. All this stuff will come out in the appropriate period of time," Christie assured Scott and his audience. "I will not give in to the hysteria of questions that are given by folks that have information today that I didn't have at the time."
Christie answered numerous questions from the audience as well, though none pertaining to BridgeGate. Instead, many listeners wanted to know whether the surplus of snow days for students meant that he would waive the 180-day school year requirement. (He wouldn't, he answered.) He was also asked why he insisted on increasing the debt by using funds to repair and improve roads. In answer to that question, Christie bemoaned the record amount of money being funneled into public pensions this year, noting that "the pension payment is crowding out the ability to do anything else."
Christie is expected in Boston on Thursday for a fundraiser with Mitt Romney for the Republican Governors Association, and he will be visiting the South next week. While his poll numbers continue to drop, due in large part to the fallout from BridgeGate, the New Jersey legislature prepares to drop hundreds of pages of raw emails and information uncovered through the twenty subpoenas issued last month. PolitickerNJ teases that those who have seen the emails say they are "salacious" and a stream of "emailed nastiness" from former Port Authority official David Wildstein, who orchestrated the "traffic study" that closed down the George Washington Bridge.
Below, watch Christie's response to a series of BridgeGate questions from Eric Scott on 101.5: