Disgraced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has fired one of his top staffers after e-mails confirmed members of his administration approved and plotted retaliatory lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. The deliberate traffic jams around the New Jersey town of Fort Lee were created in response to the town’s mayor, Mark Sokolich, not endorsing Christie in last year’s election.
Christie’s deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, sent an e-mail to then-Port Authority official David Wildstein that read “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” His campaign manager Bill Stepien, was also aware of the retaliatory measures.
Christie responded to “Bridgegate” today by declaring he was “blindsided” by the scandal, but still ultimately responsible for it. “I am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here. This was handled in a callous and indifferent way,” he said. “I come out here today to apologize to the people of New Jersey, the people of Fort Lee and I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of the people on my team. I also need to apologize for my failure as the governor of this state to fail to handle the true nature of the problem sooner than I did.”
The governor also forced Stepien to take his name out of the running to lead New Jersey’s Republican party, declaring he was disturbed by the tone and behavior and attitude and the callous indifference that was displayed in the emails by [Stepien].” If it turns out Christie knew about the traffic jams, his political career is likely finished. However, many are still considering him as a possible candidate to run for President under the Republican party.