The scandal surrounding whether New Jersey Governor Chris Christie knew about plans for traffic lane closures near the George Washington Bridge is “nonsense,” Senator Ted Cruz said today.
The Texas Republican defended Christie, a fellow 2016 Republican presidential aspirant, and accused the news media of exaggerating the issue.
“I think the whole ‘bridgegate’ thing is nonsense,” Cruz said at a Politico breakfast in Washington. “I think it is an example of the media piling on. Apparently the most important story in the country is there was some traffic in New Jersey.”
Christie, 51, yesterday said that questions about possible political payback behind the shutdown of lanes near the George Washington Bridge were hysteria led by the news media.
“Let’s not be hysterical about this,” the governor told interviewer Eric Scott on “Ask the Governor,” a monthly radio call-in program on WKXW-FM in Ewing. “You folks are the only people, at the moment, who are asking me about this.”
Christie last month fired an aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, whose e-mail linked her to four days of lane closings in September near the George Washington Bridge that snarled traffic in a town where the mayor didn’t endorse him for re-election.
The governor has maintained that he knew nothing of the matter, which is being investigated by a federal prosecutor and lawmakers in Trenton.
Cruz, 43, said he was a fan of Christie, describing him as “brash” and lauding him for winning election twice in a Democratic-leaning state.
State legislative hearings in November and December focused on the reasons for the traffic jams in Fort Lee, on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge. The issue is under review by the legislative Select Committee on Investigation and by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey.
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