Democrats think they have found Chris Christie’s Achilles’ heel, but Barack Obama’s longtime political adviser said Thursday he thinks the New Jersey Republican governor ultimately survives the lane-closing scandal.
“Christie handled about as well as he could,” David Axelrod, the former Obama aide and Democratic strategist, wrote on Twitter after Christie’s two-hour long press conference on Thursday. “Unless smoking gun turns up tying him to scheme, or others arise, he lives 2 fight another day.”
On Thursday, Christie held a press conference to say he is “embarrassed and humiliated” over his administration’s involvement in the closing of highway lanes in the city of a Democratic mayor who didn’t support his re-election last year.
Emails and texts released this week indicate top officials in his administration intentionally closed the roads. Democrats accuse the administration of doing so to exact political retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for failing to endorse Christie.
Christie said he had no knowledge of the road closing and he has since fired deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, who wrote in an email, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
“I terminated her employment because she lied to me,” he said.
Before this week, Christie previously dismissed the accusations from Democrats that his administration had anything to do with the closings. The scandal comes as Christie – who defeated his Democratic opponent in a November landslide – appears to be gearing up for a 2016 presidential campaign.