The topic that has dominated the last six weeks of Christie's administration, and that has shaken his prospects for 2016, simply didn't come up in the 90-minute event. The governor's office told TPM Thursday that neither the questions asked at the event nor the people asking the questions had been pre-selected.
"Questions are not vetted," Christie spokesperson Kevin Roberts told TPM in an email.
NBC News reported Thursday that at least one audience member attended the event holding a sign that read: "RESIGN CHRISTIE." (The woman later told The Neward Star-Ledger her signs were confiscated.) But it wasn't all serious in Middletown, N.J. One attendee asked Christie if he would destroy his Springsteen CDs.
"He's not a friend of yours, governor," the man said.
"What I can tell you is, despite the fact that you might be right, I don't do drugs, I don't drink. This is it for me, OK?" Christie responded. "I still hope as he gets older and older, he'll say, 'He's a good guy, we could be friends.'"
Instead of the bridge scandal, Christie focused on Sandy recovery. According to the Star-Ledger, Christie said the state had suffered $37 billion in damage, but expected to receive $15 billion to $20 billion in aid from the federal government.
"All of you can do the math," Christie said. "That’s anywhere from a $17 to a $22 billion dollar gap."