New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) made no mention of the controversy surrounding his administration’s involvement in the closing of lanes on the busiest bridge in the U.S. during his inaugural address on Tuesday.
The omission was a sharp contrast to Christie’s State of the State address last week, where he began his remarks with an admission “mistakes were made” in the September 2013 closure of multiple lanes on the George Washington Bridge in an alleged act of political retribution against a Democratic mayor.
Former high-profile Christie aides were revealed to have had discussions with state transportation officials about closing the lanes on the bridge, which carries 102 million vehicles per year, after the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., declined to endorse Christie’s bid for reelection last year.
Christie, who is seen as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, struck a much different note at the top of remarks after taking the New Jersey oath of office on Tuesday.
“Today, once again, the people of New Jersey have given me the opportunity to serve,” Christie said. “And I thank each and every citizen for that honor. And once again, I have taken an oath, where I have sworn to promote the peace and prosperity of our great state and its citizens, and a long oath it is. It is an oath that I have lived by for the last four years, and it is the oath I will live by for every day I am privileged to call myself your governor.”
Christie touted his administration’s overall record, though he made no mention of the controversy that has surrounded him in recent weeks.
“We have endured the worst economic recession of our lifetimes, and we have begun to triumph over it,” he said. “We have survived the worst natural disaster in our state’s history and worked together to restore, renew and rebuild the state we love. Each one of these challenges has been met by a new, unified force in public life — a New Jersey setting the tone for an entire nation. A tough New Jersey. A resilient New Jersey. A proud New Jersey.”
Christie also touted the margin of his 60 precent-38 percent victory in the November election, which had been expected to frame his mention ahead of the nascent 2016 Republican presidential primary.
“The people have definitively set the course for the next four years,” he said. “They have validated the idea that our answers to our problems must be bold.
“And it wasn’t just some of our people who affirmed this course. It was not a vocal plurality like four years ago,” Christie continued. “No, this time, it was the largest and loudest voice of affirmation that the people of our state have given to any direction in three decades. Suburbanites and city dwellers. African-Americans and Latinos. Women and men. Doctors and teachers. Factory workers and tradesmen. Republicans and Democrats and independents.”