Chris Christie’s (R-N.J.)comeback tour was rudely interrupted by reality this Sunday when Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-N.J.), who is the co-chair of the state investigation into the Bridgegate scandal, said it’s way too early to draw conclusions.
Wisniewski cautioned Sunday on ABC’s This Week, “It’s far too early to start concluding that the governor knew nothing, had nothing to do with this.”
It’s also true that they have found no smoking gun to point at Christie yet, but as the legislator said, it’s early in the investigation. It’s certainly too early to run around claiming exoneration and blithely hopping on the 2016 bus. Wisniewski just put the brakes on Christie’s comeback tour.
As soon as the lawyers he hired cleared him of any wrong doing, embattled Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was off to Las Vegas to vie for Sheldon Adelson’s attention/money, among the GOP 2016 hopefuls, because they “love” him in Iowa. Yes, he still thinks he can be President even though there are ongoing federal and legislative probes into Bridgegate. The FBI might not be as accommodating as lawyers that he hired and paid. Just saying.
In Vegas, Christie put his foot in 2016 by referring to “occupied territories.” Still, y’all, he’s been totally cleared by the guys he hired to clear him. Never mind that Wesley Lowrey of the Washington Post pointed out that Nixon praised the same law firm that did Christie’s “Million dollar white wash”, after they concluded that Nixon had not behaved improperly.
Christie also compared himself to Obama and decided he is the better man because no one in New Jersey has to wonder if he’s against them (way to miss the Bridgegate point). “We cannot have a world where our friends are unsure of whether we will be with them and our enemies are unsure of whether we will be against them,” Christie said. “In New Jersey, nobody has to wonder whether I’m for them or against them.” I’m sure the people in Fort Lee were amused by this tidbit, because “It’s time for traffic problems in Fort Lee” came from his chief of staff and not him.
Never fear, the New Jersey Governor is still very busy trying to manipulate the press, including the New York Times, because nothing says innocent like “aggressively” reintroducing oneself by telling the press what they should and should not ask you and then shaming them for asking you about a scandal that’s still burning in the town square. Yes, Christie’s idea is that the press should ignore the elephant in the room and focus on things he wants to talk about, like how beloved he is. This kind of stubborn bullying and self-aggrandizement isn’t comforting for voters.
Christie’s lawyers made sure to carefully, deliberately impugn the motives of the one person, Bridget Kelly, who can settle the difference between Christie and the guy pointing his finger at him, as pointed out by the lawyer for Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly. ABC laid it out:
There “appear to be two distinct versions” of what happened at the bridge — Christie’s and one told by former Port Authority official David Wildstein, Critchley said. Kelly, he added, could set the record straight, so “a pre-emptive strike to isolate Ms. Kelly and impugn her credibility is not surprising.”
So while Christie thinks he’s in charge of his brand, the press and the law, back in reality land, the FBI is looking into Bridgegate and the state’s investigation is far from done. Even if Christie is totally innocent, the way he’s handling this crisis is more Sopranos than White House.
Remember when VP candidate Sarah Palin told the press in the midst of the 2008 presidential campaign that she had been cleared of all charges, but in reality, she had just been found guilty? Christie is dancing close to Palin territory here, where he risks losing the trust of even his own party and campaign people. The fact that he can fool himself to this degree should be troubling.