Democrats are raising a fuss about the closure of the George Washington Bridge because they are afraid of Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) chances in 2016, according to former President George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove.

“The reason the Democrats are doing this is because Gov. Christie is a strong potential candidate in 2016 and they’re going to try to smother every Republican presidential possibility they can,” Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“They know that this race in 2016 is going to be difficult for the Democrats, hard to get a third term, particularly after the two terms of Obama.”

{mosads}A former top Christie aide sent emails that seemed to indicate that the George Washington Bridge, a major thoroughfare connecting New Jersey to New York City, was closed as political retribution for a mayor not supporting the governor.

Before the scandal broke, Christie was seen as the potential frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

Last week, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) said that Christie either knew about the planned closure “and he is lying, or he is the most inept, incompetent chief executive imaginable.”

On Sunday, Strickland said that Christie should have asked his aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, why she sent the emails.

“Why didn’t he ask her why did she send that email and try to find out why and who told her to do that?” he said.

“We still do not know ho told Bridget Kelly to do what she did.”

Rove countered that Strickland was a poor messenger on the issue, since his administration was mired in a scandal around the Ohio state government’s investigation of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, a man known during the 2008 election “Joe the Plumber.”

“Damaging information about Joe the Plumber was leaked to the press,” Rove said. 

Tags Bridge scandal Chris Christie Joe the Plumber Karl Rove Ted Strickland

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