[Live event concluded.]
You know how the right wing has always despised New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as a RINO, someone who’s willing to make deals and compromises; in other words, a total loser?
Well, suddenly Christie is back in the good graces of the right, and all it took was a massive corruption scandal: Bridge-Gate: Why Conservatives Are Now Embracing Chris Christie.
After being snubbed last year, embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has been invited to speak next month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC - the biggest conservative confab of the year.
Governor Christie, under intense pressure over the ongoing “Bridge-gate” scandal, was also embraced over the weekend by top Republicans appearing on Sunday talk shows. On ABC News, Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin called Christie a “fantastic governor.” And both he and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) of Louisiana (appearing on CNN) said Christie should stay on as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Even some of the most conservative lights, who typically ridicule Christie as a “RINO” - a Republican in Name Only - have managed at times to come down on Christie’s side since Bridge-gate broke last month. Fox News host Sean Hannity has defended Christie’s use of hurricane Sandy relief money.
Just more evidence that the overriding principle driving the conservative movement in 2014 is a sort of base, mean-spirited contrarianism.
Very bad news for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today, as former Port Authority official David Wildstein now says he has evidence Christie knew about the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge.
In a letter released by his lawyer, the official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.
Here’s the actual letter from Wildstein’s attorneys:
Operation Northwoods was a 1962 Defense Department proposal where a series of false flag attacks against targets in the United States (mainly Florida) would take place so they then could be blamed on Fidel Castro (who had taken power three years earlier) , and thus justify an invasion of Cuba to overthrow Castro. President Kennedy rejected the proposal. Glenn Beck, however, posits that Barack Obama or Chris Christie might actually consider something like this, because “the ends justify the means.”
It was Kennedy that said (in reference to Operation Northwoods) “Are you out of your mind? No! We’re not doing that!” Is anyone sitting here, telling me that Chris Christie would say that? If it served their purposes? Ends justify the means? I’m not sure Operation Northwoods doesn’t happen.
In his news conference last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he had not seen aide David Wildstein (implicated in the GWB bridge-closing scandal) for “a long time.”
Well, it seems this was not true.
Gov. Chris Christie was with the official who arranged the closure of local lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 11, 2013 — the third day of the closures, and well after they had triggered outrage from local officials beset by heavy traffic.
It isn’t known what, if anything, Mr. Christie discussed with David Wildstein that day, when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official was among the delegation of Mr. Christie’s representatives who welcomed him to the site of the World Trade Center for the commemoration of the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks there.
Christie spokesman Colin Reed said, “Of course, Governor Christie attended the September 11th ceremony as he has done every year since he took office. He had numerous interactions with public officials that morning, including representatives of the Port Authority. They were all there for one reason - to pay tribute to the heroes of 9/11.”
Mr. Wildstein did not respond to a request for comment.
Also present with Mr. Christie that day were Bill Baroni, the authority’s deputy executive director, who was helping Mr. Wildstein manage the fallout from the closures among local officials, subpoenaed documents show. Also there was David Samson, the Port Authority chairman and close Christie ally, who has said he didn’t learn of the lane closures and traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., until an email from a New York port official ordered the lane closures reversed. Messrs. Samson and Baroni didn’t respond to requests for comment.