New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) began his annual State of the State address Tuesday with a reference to the ongoing scandal over his administration’s role in lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September.
“The last week has certainly tested this Administration. Mistakes were clearly made. And as a result, we let down the people we are entrusted to serve. I know our citizens deserve better. Much better,” Christie said, according to a copy of his prepared remarks distributed by the governor’s office in advance of the speech. “I am the governor and I am ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch – both good and bad. Without a doubt we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to ensure this breach of trust does not happen again.”
Christie, who fired a pair of aides last week after their involvement in the scandal became public, went on to promise the scandal and accompanying investigation would not prevent his administration from doing its job.
“But I also want to assure the people of New Jersey today that what has occurred does not define us or our state. This Administration and this Legislature will not allow the work that needs to be done to improve the people’s lives in New Jersey to be delayed. I am the leader of this state and its people and I stand here today proud to be both. And always determined to do better,” said Christie.