Christie Pushes Back: Traffic Problems “Not Something That Rises to the Gubernatorial Level”

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Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 3 2014 8:56 PM

Christie Pushes Back: Traffic Problems “Not Something That Rises to the Gubernatorial Level”

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers questions during his radio program 'Ask the Governor' on February 3, 2014.

Photo by Mel Evans-Pool/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke publicly for the fist time in three weeks responding to the latest round of lane-closure accusations that have plagued his second term in office. Speaking on the “Ask the Governor” radio show on Monday night, Christie remained defiant saying that recent allegations that he knew of the closures ahead of time is “just a game of gotcha.”

The question of who-knew-what-and-when has become an increasingly troubling issue for Christie after the New York Times reported last week that the former Port Authority official who oversaw the closures said that “evidence exists” Christie knew about the closures as they were happening. On Monday night, according to the Associated Press, Christie said “he may have heard about the traffic tie-ups in Fort Lee when they were going on last September, but that it didn't register with him as a major issue if he did.”

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Here’s more on Christie’s remarks from CBS News:

“Did I know anything about the plan to close these lanes, did I authorize it, did I know about it, did I approve it? Unequivocally no,” Christie told Trenton, N.J., radio station WKXW-FM in an episode of the monthly program “Ask the Governor.”… The governor said Monday it's possible he saw some media coverage of the September lane closures and subsequent traffic jam. However, he said, "whether I read any of those -- if I did, or heard anything about traffic -- it would not have been meaningful to me.” Traffic problems, he added, are “not something that rises to the gubernatorial level.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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