Christie will address bridge scandal in State of State address

Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will address the growing controversy surrounding last year's lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in his State of the State address Tuesday afternoon.

ADVERTISEMENT
An aide to the governor said the controversy won't be a central focus of the speech, but that Christie will comment on it.

“He’ll acknowledge it, but make it clear that it won’t overshadow the bipartisan results of the last four years, nor will it stand in the way of the big things he intends to accomplish moving forward,” the aide told The Hill.

The speech comes at a critical moment for Christie, who is facing a scandal that threatens his 2016 presidential prospects. Tuesday's speech offers an opportunity to refocus on his work as governor.

Christie plans to outline his vision for school reform and a property tax relief initiative, among other priorities for his second term as governor.

According to excerpts from the speech, Christie will stress the bipartisan nature of his first-term accomplishments.

“Four balanced budgets. Passed with bipartisan support. Pension reform and tenure reform. Passed with bipartisan support. A cap on property taxes. Passed with bipartisan support,” Christie will declare. “We acted and we acted together.”

The bridge controversy centers on allegations that Christie's aides and appointees closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September to create traffic problems in Fort Lee, N.J., to retaliate against the city's mayor, who did not endorse Christie's reelection.

Christie last week fired his deputy chief of staff after emails emerged that linked her to the closings.

Another mayor has since come forward to accuse the Christie administration of punishing him for failing to endorse the governor for reelection, and multiple investigations into the closures are ongoing.

A new investigation was launched this week into the state’s allocation of federal funds for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, some of which was used for a tourism campaign that Democrats charge was politicized.