Chris Christie, Asshole of the Day for March 27, 2014
Yesterday Chris Christie released the findings of the investigation into the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, which he said cleared him.
Well, sort of.
First, this is an investigation run by his people. So let’s rephrase it to Chris Christie investigated himself and found himself to be innocent of all wrongdoing. Now Gov. Christie is no idiot, and he’s even a former prosecutor, so he must know this is completely worthless except as PR. I can’t imagine when he was a prosecutor that he trusted the accused to investigate themselves and then take their word for it that they were innocent. Because that’s basically what he’s done here.
Second, even though the feds and the New Jersey legislature are both investigating the Bridge scandal, Christie launched his own, and used $1 million in taxpayer money. And for what? PR. A chance to keep his presidential hopes alive until other investigations are complete. This recalls a previous time he wasted New Jersey taxpayer dollars on his presidential campaign— back in June he decided to hold a special election for Senate which cost $24 million, even though he could have had the special election rolled into the general election just a few weeks later. And why did he do that? To run up his margin of victory to help his presidential prospects.
Third, after this totally biased investigation, there’s still problems. Wildstein says he told Chris Christie on 9/11/2013 about the lane closures. Even Christie’s biased report says they talked. But what did they talk about? Christie can’t remember. But, and here’s the best part, he remembers they didn’t talk about the lane closures:
During the ABC News interview, anchor Diane Sawyer asked Christie if Wildstein had in fact talked to him about traffic on Sept. 11.
"I don’t have any recollection of that, Diane," Christie said. "David was one of hundreds of people that I spoke to that day. We stood around and spoke briefly that day."
"I don’t have any recollection of him saying anything, but I’ll tell you this, I’ll tell you what he didn’t say — he didn’t say, ‘Hey by the way, governor, I’m closing down some lanes on the George Washington Bridge to stick it to the mayor. Is that OK?’" Christie said. "That I’d remember."
"That I’d remember." Well, I’d say we’re taking your word for it. Also it wasn’t a scandal that threatened your administration and your presidential prospects then, it was just another petty vindictive revenge scheme that your staff cooked up on your behalf. Something so routine that none of your very top advisors even thought to question whether it was a good idea or whether it would be against your wishes. I recall your staff’s attitude at the time as being “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” So “that I’d remember” rings false to me. The most chilling part of this whole story is how routine something like this was to Christie’s staff, so Christie could be accurate in saying he doesn’t remember what they talked about, but it’s not necessarily true that he can remember NOT talking about it. Right?
So, to review: Christie spent $1 million of taxpayer money to run his own investigation of his own actions and the best he can do is “I talked to the guy, but I don’t remember what he said, and I’m sure he didn’t mention THAT.” It’s a big waste of money that proves nothing, but Christie went through with it, and acts like this phony investigation clears him, and for that he is the Asshole of the Day.
It is Chris-Christie's fifth time as Asshole of the Day. Previous wins were for
- wasting $24 million on a special election just to run up the score in his own reelection
- saying if he had a gay son, he’d deny him marriage rights too
- hiring petty, mean, vindictive people as his top advisors, all of whom were sure he shared this attitude
- knowing about the lane closures (according to David Wildstein, who orchestrated it)
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