Here are 3 Republicans who have criticized Christie over Bridgegate

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Some top Republicans have criticized New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie after it came to light that Christie’s staffers blocked lanes of traffic on the George Washington Bridge for political reasons. Christie apologized and fired his deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly. Though his approval rating in New Jersey is holding strong at 55 percent (down from 63 percent pre-scandal), some members of his own party are going at him. (RELATED: Here are 5 Republicans (and Shaq) standing with Christie)

1. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, whose ongoing feud with Christie is seen as the lead-up to a 2016 GOP primary contest:

“I don’t know who emailed who and who works for whom. I have been in traffic before though and I know how angry I am when I’m in traffic and I’ve always wondered, ‘who did this to me?'”

2. Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean Sr., identified as a Christie “mentor”: 

“On the one hand, I think he’s got a lot to offer. I think he’s the most able politician since Bill Clinton. On the other hand, you look at these other qualities and ask, ‘Do you really want that in your president?’”

“If there’s a pattern of these things, if other incidents emerge with similar characteristics, that’s going to be a real problem.”

3. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, whose uncertain 2014 re-election bid is already being supported by Christie despite a primary challenge from the right, backtracked on his initial criticism of Christie:

TAKE 1“It seems to me that this whole bridge thing reinforces a narrative that’s troublesome about the guy, he’s kind of a bully.”

“If anybody in my office had done such a thing, they knew what their fate would be because I’m not that kind a guy. I just don’t see how people that close to him could have felt comfortable enough to do this if they thought their boss wasn’t of this mindset. Isn’t that just common sense?… I think he’s going to have a hard time in the South. I really do. The edge is part of it. You know, he’s a little too slick by half.”

TAKE 2: “I finally got to see portions of the news conference. I’m very impressed with the contrite nature in taking responsibility. In today’s political environment it was a breath of fresh air and I think he handled it as well as he could.”

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