By Ian Swanson
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) insisted he is not a bully during a lengthy news conference on Thursday.
“I am not a focus-group tested, blow-dried candidate or governor,” he said. “I am who I am, but I am not a bully.”
“There’s this reputation out there of me being a micromanager. I’m not,” he said.
The controversy over the George Washington Bridge closures is threatening to torpedo any hopes Christie has of running for the White House in 2016.
Democrats have latched on to the story, arguing it confirms perceptions that Christie is a bully more interested in his own career than the lives of his constituents.
Christie fought back against that suggestion at the press conference, repeatedly saying he had been misled and lied to by staffers whom he trusted.
The governor said he would be traveling to Fort Lee, N.J., later on Thursday to personally apologize to the city’s mayor, Mark Sokolich. His failure to endorse Christie seemingly triggered the decision by staffers to close lanes of the George Washington Bridge in September in order to snarl traffic in Fort Lee.