The last six weeks have not been the most fun for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), but he vowed Tuesday to not let the bridge scandal derail his second term.
Speaking at the Economic Club of Chicago, the potential 2016 presidential candidate also vowed he would make public an internal review his administration is conducting.
If there are further steps he needs to take, he said he would comply. But voters would not tolerate the distraction, he added.
“I don’t think it will curtail for the long haul a second-term agenda because I think the public in New Jersey won’t tolerate it,” he said, vowing to get things done.
Christie made the remarks during a question and answer with Greg Brown, Motorola Solutions's CEO. He is slated to raise money as head of the Republican Governors Association while in the city.
During the talk, he also vowed to not let the scandal distract from that role. The group announced Tuesday it brought in a record-breaking haul of $6 million amid the scandal in January.
The governor reiterated some people who worked for him made “significant mistakes.” He said, however, he took decisive action by separating himself from those involved, including firing his deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly.
“You only have a few minutes to wallow in that disappointment, and then if you are a leader, you have to try and get a handle on the story and take decisive action,” he said.
Christie hired an outside law firm last month to help with the internal review and also comply with a number of other inquiries — including reviews by the state legislature and the U.S. attorney.
Christie’s poll numbers have been struggling since revelations that a staffer in his administration had a hand in the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year. He denied knowledge or involvement in the plan.
Upon Christie’s arrival in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel — President Obama’s former chief of staff — welcomed him but took a jab at the scandal surrounding him.
"I think he has a couple issues before you can talk about that," Emanuel said to a question about what kind of president Christie would make.