New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) sought to bolster the confidence of Republican donors in his state Thursday, assuring them that his embattled administration would “get through” the scandal surrounding lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September.
Christie made the comment at a fundraiser in Mountain Lakes, N.J. for former Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan, who plans to run for a seat in the House. Lonegan said Christie “calmly” told the donors that “we will get through this,” according to ABC News.
“It’s unfortunate, it was a mistake, it was obviously upsetting,” Lonegan recalled Christie saying, as quoted by ABC News. “He said we have 1,400 days in this administration and lots of challenges for the governing of this state and we will continue to move ahead and those successes over time will overshadow all this negativity.”
The Lonegan event was Christie’s first fundraiser since documents obtained by TPM and other news outlets revealed his administration was tied to the lane closures, which many state Democrats believe were politically motivated.
For his part, Lonegan, Christie’s one-time gubernatorial rival, dismissed the scandal itself as mere partisan politics.
“It’s just theatrics,” he told ABC News. “This governor is confident, you can tell from his demeanor. He was saddened by having to let key people go, but he didn’t know about this and it was one of these unfortunate instances, but it will be behind us and every day it’s going to fade and fade. They can have all their bogus investigations and their hearings, but it is all political theatrics.”
Christie is sure to face further questioning about the bridge scandal this weekend, when he travels to Florida for a pair of events.
This post has been updated.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.