Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich says he isn't holding a grudge against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and that he believes the possible Republican presidential contender was not aware his staffer was behind the controversial decision to close traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge.
The Mayor of Fort Lee told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Christie assured him the city would never again experience the kind of road closures that occurred in September.
"I take him at his word," Sokolich said. "There's just a lot of stuff out there, though."
Asked repeatedly by host David Gregory if Christie was a bully, or if he believed Christie knew more about the closure than he was saying, Sokolich defended Christie as a strict manager in a tough situation.
"If he didn’t know, he certainly should have known, and I think that's the Catch-22 here," Sokolich said.
The mayor also took issue with suggestions that Christie was a bully.
"He's certainly tough, he's certainly hard, he's certainly strict," Sokolich said.
"Whether it rises to bully, I leave that to your judgment, but he's tough and outspoken," Sokolich said.
The governor runs a tight ship and reviews everything that has his name on it, "so it's a difficult pill to swallow, I will tell you," Sokolich said.
"But I'm a Jersey guy, I don't appreciate the political jokes. I signed up to build little league fields and lower taxes and I don't want to be the brunt of a joke. So again, I'm taking him at his word," Sokolich said.
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