Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani says he's "offended" that remarks he made about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's involvement in the George Washington Bridge scandal have been taken out of context.
Giuliani told Politico Thursday
that Christie is being treated "unfairly" and that he never meant to suggest there was a "50-50" chance the Republican governor knew about the so-called bridge-gate scandal, in which his aides allegedly ordered that traffic be tied up at the Fort Lee, N.J., bridge ramps in September as political retribution against the mayor of the town.
Giuliani made the "50-50" comment earlier Thursday on Geraldo Rivera's 77 WABC radio program
in New York, where he was discussing a recent New York Times story about Christie. According to Politico, Giuliani meant that the Times article might leave the reader with the impression there was a "50-50" chance Christie was involved in the scandal, not that he actually was.
Giuliani insisted to Politico that he takes Christie at his word that he was never informed about how the traffic jam on the bridge came about. Christie has fired the aides on his staff who have been linked to the traffic mess. Giuliani defended the governor, calling him "a good friend" who "is being unfairly treated."
Giuliani presented pretty much the same argument on the radio program, telling Rivera that there are many things in government that the chief executive officer would not be aware of, and Christie, he said, is no exception.
"He'd assume they're doing the right thing. It doesn't make sense to me that they would necessarily share this with him," Giuliani said on the radio show, repeating comments he made earlier this month on ABC's "This Week."
Christie, who has promised to cooperate with state and federal probes concerning the lane closures, denied during a lengthy press conference on Jan. 9 knowing about or being involved in plans to close the lanes. But despite his denial of wrongdoing, the bridge-gate scandal has taken a toll on his standing among voters, which could upset any chance of him running for the presidency in 2016.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll
, he has dropped from first place among potential Republican presidential contenders to third behind Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
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