New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Thursday admitted that he made hiring mistakes, after documents published Wednesday linked some of his top aides and appointees to lane closures on the George Washington Bridge last year.
“Listen, the fact is that mistakes were made, and I’m responsible for those mistakes. I obviously try every chance I can to hire the very best people,” he said in a press conference. “Mistakes were made, and I remediated those mistakes by the actions I have taken.”
Christie defended his hiring practices in general, stating that he works hard to hire the best people possible to work for him.
“I think the history of this administration shows that we have hired outstanding people with great ethical standards, who have done their jobs extraordinarily well. In a government of 65,000 people there are going to be times when mistakes are made,” he said. “I’m in a constant state of trying to figure out who are the best people for individual jobs, who will make me proud to have put them there. That’s always going on.”
Christie added that he acted swiftly when he found out that his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, betrayed his trust.
“There’s nothing new now, but there are times when people put in those decisions make mistakes, they disappoint you, you lose your confidence in them, or they lie to you. When you find that out, the test of leadership is what do you do?” Christie said in the conference. “I found this out at 8:50 yesterday morning. By 9:00 this morning, Bridget Kelly was fired. … That’s pretty swift action for a day’s work.”