NJ Gov. Christie attempts to defuse criticism from bridge scandal

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January 12, 2014, 10:23 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Brian Mooar) - Could a traffic jam put an end to the presidential hopes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie?

The governor faced tough questions this past week about his knowledge and involvement in the politically motivated closing of one of the nation's most heavily traveled bridges.

He sought to silence his critics with a 111-minute news conference, but an ongoing investigation will provide the final word.

Christie's marathon apology for the George Washington Bridge closing and his denial of involvement may well prove to be a watershed moment in his political career.

"America is a forgiving people, but they're forgiving when you take ownership, you admit mistakes you take corrective action, and that's what Chris Christie showed," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

The Republican's talk will be judged against the evidence: thousands of documents that shed light on a days-long September traffic nightmare apparently orchestrated by his top aides as a petty political payback.

"It just strains credibility that they didn't look at those documents and say we ought to let him know about it," said Democratic New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

Christie fired his chief of staff and dismissed a top adviser. He apologized to people of Fort Lee and the Democratic mayor who was apparently targeted.

"I take him at his word," said Mayor Mark Sokolich. "There's just a lot out there, though."

Without a smoking gun implicating the governor, national Democrats have been hesitant to pile on.

The scandal that could be a speed bump or a dead end for Christie.

Tags: New Jersey, Chris Christie, George Washington Bridge, In 111-minute news conference, Chris Christie apologized for George Washington Bridge closing and denied his involvement Brian Mooar, bridge closing, traffic scandal
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