Chris Christie: I ‘Can’t Be Responsible’ For Former Allies’ BridgeGate Scheme

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) can’t escape questions about the so-called “BridgeGate” scandal after federal charges were handed weeks ago alleging his former allies did it all for him.

CNN’s Jake Tapper sat down with Christie on Tuesday in New Hampshire to talk about his potential presidential campaign. Tapper asked Christie at one point whether he thought he’d set a “wrong tone” that led to his former allies closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge in order to punish a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse his 2013 re-election effort.

“No, I really don’t think so,” Christie responded. “Unfortunately there are going to be times when people who work for you do things that are completely out of character.”

“Listen, I’m accountable for what happened. I’ve said that before,” he added. “I’m the governor. It happens on my watch. But you can’t be responsible for the bad acts of some people who wind up in your employ. What you do as a leader is take definitive steps. The next day I terminated the person that I thought was responsible and then moved on.”

The attorney for Christie’s ex-deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, has said that he’s prepared to subpoena “everyone involved” who can establish Kelly’s innocence in the bridge affair. Christie welcomed the challenge and told reporters “if they want to subpoena me, that’s fine.”

Christie told Tapper he’d have nothing to say to Kelly if he were to sit down with her today.

“I’d probably more listen than talk,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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