Governor Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address Tuesday with high expectations: to bring his usual policy proposals forth amid a sea of corruption allegations related both to the bridge scandal and Hurricane Sandy. He addressed the former, admitting, “we let down the people we were entrusted to serve.”
It was the first time since last Thursday that Gov. Christie addressed the matter, having last week delivered a two-hour press conference in which he apologized profusely and fired his Deputy Chief of Staff. While he did not specifically address the George Washington Bridge, his aides, or the new investigation regarding the misappropriation of Hurricane Sandy funds, he admitted that in the past week, “mistakes were clearly made and, as a result, we let down the people we were entrusted to serve.” Christie noted that, even though others had been fired, “I am ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch, both good and bad.”
He also assured his audience – the New Jersey Legislature – that his administration “will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to ensure that this breach of trust does not happen again.” He also had words for the people of New Jersey and addressed the potential loss of trust that may occur as the bridge scandal continues to gain steam in the media: “what has occurred does not define us or our state.” He promised that any investigation or cleaning of house that the administration might need to do will not hinder “the work that needs to be done to improve the lives of the people of our state.”
“I am always determined to do better,” he assured his office.
That was it for Bridgegate. Aside from that minor roadblock, the Governor assured the audience that “the state of our state is good, and it is getting better.” Governor Christie emphasized the economic growth of the state and called for a “culture of choice” that requires bipartisanship. The state’s economic improvements and teacher tenure reform, he argued, were the product of the fact that “we have chosen to work together.” “No state has shown more bipartisan cooperation in governance in New Jersey and our people are proud of it,” he declared to applause.
In last year’s State of the State address, Governor Christie spent much of his time discussing the effects of Hurricane Katrina and what the state was doing with federal officials to help those who lost their homes and livelihoods. He also announced an expanded Medicaid program.
Video of Christie’s comments below: