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January 8th, 2014
10:27 PM ET

Can Chris Christie survive Bridgegate?

On an evening which has seen New Jersey governor Chris Christie field harsh criticism over his perceived role in a George Washington Bridge lane closure, on Wednesday evening "Piers Morgan Live" welcomed an expert panel tasked with offering their informed insight and political perspective.

Joining Piers Morgan live, Ryan Lizza suggested that if he ends up linked to the incident, the so-called "bridge-gate" could yield long-term ramifications:

"It's very serious. I think it could threaten his presidential ambitions if he is directly tied to this scandal, which he hasn't yet been. He denied that his staff had anything to do with this, and we now know that that's not true. And in a statement today he has said that he was misled," explained CNN's political commentator and the Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker." "But he has to deal with the fact that he wasn't honest when he said that his staff wasn't involved."

Amid rumors suggesting that Wednesday's traffic incident was a direct move by Christie to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey for not supporting the incumbent governor in the state's recent election, Amy Holmes noted that not only might such a tactic be dangerous, but also represent poor partisan strategy:

"It's not only vindictive, politically it's stupid. How did these folks think that Fort Lee residents were going to be blaming their mayor and not the governor for sitting in traffic for three to four hours and the governor not interceding on their behalf," wondered the anchor of's "Hot List" program. "That doesn't even make sense politically."

As for the insinuation that Christie's staff orchestrated the closure unbeknownst to the governor, Marc Lamont Hill found such a prospect to be entirely implausible:

"Everyone who knows Chris Christie, anyone close to his administration knows that he is a notorious micro-manager. He runs that place with an iron fist. It's hardly imaginable that anything could happen without him knowing about it," said the host of "HuffPost Live." "For me this is a mark on his character, even if it doesn't go all the way to him in terms of a smoking gun. Questions will be raised throughout the next two years, it will hurt him as he supports candidates around the country in 2014, and it will certainly hurt him if he decides to run for president in 2016."

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's segment on Christ Christie and the George Washington Bridge lane closure, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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Filed under: The Big Story
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Non-story. The media will try anything to distract from ObamaCare .

    January 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark

      Do you even live in Fort Lee? Have you ever ridden on the GWB during rush hour? Oh yes, that's right; it probably doesn't affect you or your family and friend, so why bother caring then.

      January 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • chloelouiselangendorflouis

        Very well, then...because Chris Christie could easily be our next is also a very interesting news story.....and as far as Bill O'Reilly and Fox News.....they ignored the story–Bill often claims he does not spin–this was a giant news story and he did not even mention it. Piers Morgan stated last evening on his show Roger Ailes, president of Fox News, would like to pick the president. O'Reilly has changed lately–clearly he would like to hitch a ride on that speeding locamotive known as the Chris Christie Express. For several reason, the survival of him as a political talking head, the survival of his show and Fox News and the survival of the Republican Party. They have to like ChrisChristie, for now at least, if they do not want to be left behind. Even thought many Tea Partiers and ultra-rights do not care for Christie he is the only chance for the repubs to win, right now. Perhaps someone like Jeb Bush may get in or Jon Huntsman but right now Chris Christie is a chance for the repubs to succeed and I believe he has the big money behind him as of now. We will have to see what happens and it will be so fun to watch but everything happening right now only makes it quite a bit better for Hillary.......and that is why I care and thank you for asking. I do think Bill O'Reilly has political foresight and the ability to change like all very successful people as the situation indicates.

        January 9, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • brandon

      What? Does every news story on earth need to be about Obamacare? Are you trolling right now or are you that insane?

      January 9, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. beachjock

    This is the beginning of the end for Chris Christie. It is what I call a "lose-lose" situation. If he did not know about the illegal activity, it reveals that he is incompetent, gullible, and easily-led (highly doubtful!). If he did know about the illegal activity (much more likely), he should have done something about it before it hit the media. Remember that those in power are privy to most things before they happen. Either way, Chris should start thinking about what he will do once he is out of office. I wish him well in his future endeavors.

    January 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jay Rogers

      Hey beachjock. If you see this, I welcome the opportunity to hear from you in person.

      November 1, 2014 at 6:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. skidawg

    I am a registered Independent, but have always liked the aggressive and in-your-face behavior displayed by Chris Christie and had found him appealing as a candidate to run our country. However, my first inkling of doubt about him came in a recent issue of Rolling Stone where an article was published about Camden, NJ. In the article, it was stated that Chris Christie basically gave up on the town and had cut the funding of the police force so that half of all policemen in the town had to be laid-off. Chris Christie had remarked that it was unfair for tax-paying individuals to pay for services needed by those of an overwhelming non-taxpaying city. In a clip that Piers Morgan played tonight from a previous interview from Mr. Christie from February, 2012, , Christie remarked that he was looking out for ALL people residing in New Jersey, regardless of class, amount of children these residents had, their time of residency, etc . Then this story breaks, and there are emails exposed where an "Unknown" is worried about children being held up in the grid lock resulting from the bridge lane closures, and a senior staff member of Christie's team remarks, "They are children of Buono voters." I am not so sure anymore that this is someone that I want to run my country.

    January 9, 2014 at 12:27 am | Report abuse | Reply

    OUTRAGE!!!!! Where was the outrage when the IRS went after the conservative groups??

    January 9, 2014 at 12:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sonali Pendse

    Where can I find the full show aired on 01/08/2014 on Gov. Chris Christie? Unfortunately I missed it.

    January 9, 2014 at 7:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. chloelouiselangendorflouis

    Piers Morgan calls it–Ailes and O'Reilly snuggling with Christie

    Hillary Wins–Christie Loses

    Well, Piers Morgan called it correctly last night on his CNN talk show–obviously Chris Christie is the Fox News man for the White House.

    Oh, right, the no spin zone–apparently they forgot to mention the giant news story that headlined every other news channel out there–the traffic on the bridge possibly caused by Republican front runner Chris Christie.

    Right, no spin–O'Reilly did not mention it. In the "No Spin Zone"–who is this guy kidding. Why does he bother to make that statement. Perhaps, he did not see the giant story–the story that could affect who lands in the White House. Apparently, now, by ignoring it, Fox News Channel's hopeful.

    How can this omission not be spin, the truth as O'Reilly likes to remind us. The truth as opposed to the lies on all the other stations. We can only hear the truth on Fox and O'Reilly.

    The giant ego of these people is the truth.

    It was suspected on this blog when Bill o'Reilly did not go ballistic over Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty like all of the other ultra right wing types out there. No, in a moment of fresh air Bill
    said Phil Robertson was being far too judgemental in bashing gays and he should take a clue from Jesus.

    Does that mean Jesus is for Chris Christie, too......

    Hillary will prevail. This is Christie's Benghazi. He may win this round but my girl, Hillary Clinton will win in the end.

    There is no other Republican that can win at this time. The other whackadoodles out there can never win a big election.

    The question remains..........

    Will this be the signal for Jon Huntsman or Jeb Bush to jump in the race.

    It's been said the big backing money is behind Chris Christie. Now the issue–will this change or stay the same. Will the Republican big boys stays behind Christie or look for someone else to do their bidding.

    Will we learn the truth by the signals from Mr. O'Reilly?

    Does Mr. Bill know what is going on out there from the bolder and fresher gig around the country. Will he talk to the regular "folks" out there. The regulars who pay 500 bucks a pop to chat on the meet and greet edge of the tour.,

    Remember what Bill says–he is the only one looking out for the regular folks out there.

    Chloe Louise–Hillary girl forever.

    January 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Robert

    Christie's style of arrogance, childish fits, temper tantrums, lack of self control (not just talking about his eating) and now revenge- they finally let people know what this guy is really about. AND, I'm a conservative. This guy is downright seriously frightening.

    January 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jimmy

    Dude GTFO of our country Pin Head Morgan. You need to stick your mic up your ass and march out of the US you lobster back!

    January 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Randy Mosley

    All I Know about New Jersey is that 25 years ago the possesion of Hollow Point Bullets was illegal and the fine was $1000.00 Per Round.. What is the difference between a regular bullet and a HollowPoint Bullet you ask ?? A DRILL BIT IN A DRILL PRESS WITH A 9TH GRADE SHOP STUDENT TO DRILL THE HOLE IN THE END OF A SOFTPOINT BULLET.. mental midgets really get on my nerves.

    January 9, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Martin C

    Recommendation to Democrats:
    1. Blame Christi for Bridgegate as much as possible
    2. Call it the "Trainwreck that is Chris Christi"
    3. Repeat

    Sound familiar.... that's what the Repulsicans did with Obamacare.... Although most like the ACA.

    January 9, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. rta

    1. I was going to say that no one on my staff was involved in this matter," he continued. "Over the course of the next hour, Kevin and Charlie interviewed each member of my senior staff, came back and reported to me that they all reported that there was no information other than what we already knew that had been testified to by Senator Beroni regarding this incident.
    2. Christie said that he had assembled senior staff a month ago to question them about the lane closures, and told them that if anyone had information about the decision to close the lanes, they should tell him immediately. No one came forward, he said, and an hour later Christie held a news conference denying his office’s involvement.

    When Chris found out two version:
    1. He said he was just finishing a workout Wednesday morning when he received a call from his communications staff that a story in the Record, a New Jersey newspaper.
    2. he had no personal knowledge of the scheme until he was “blindsided” by the release of the emails Wednesday

    January 10, 2014 at 8:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. k johnson

    No way is this the end for christie. I believe he did not know what the bad apples were doing. He took imediate action to fire those who were responsable. And possibly more to come. I am a dem but I was extremly impressed after super storm sandy that he stood up to pressure from rep to represent ALL residents of new jersey. He's got my vote.

    January 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • chloelouiselangendorflouis

      as a dem I have to agree–he is impressive and like all very successful people he has the ability to keep learning and changing as needed–he is an exciting politician, also the hope for the republican party–he has a certain strength and attraction, dem or repub he does seem like he has the back of the people–just now I am a little more on the fence than so impressed. I actually hope he survives. I would like it to be Christie and Hillary–that will be an exciting political scene for every party affiliation.

      January 10, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. J Plunkett

    This happened in his closest circle of friends and advisors. It indicates a culture of bullying and retribution with the Gov at the head. He can't duck it. Still their serious disregard for public harm is shocking; ambulances didn't get to people who died.

    January 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Patrice Britz

    Re: Christie Debacle

    This is not a celebrity issue, a personality trait or political aspirations issue. The level of discourse seems to be missing the point:
    Why is there not a clear understanding and discussion by the Congress, the Post, the Times, CNN and other news media pundits that this was an act of sabotage perpetrated directly against the American public, putting people in danger, and causing not only inconvenience but actual death due to negligence by blocking ambulances (despite whatever "spiteful" reason there might have been due to any perceived political disrespect by the Mayor toward Christie) and should be dealt with as a criminal action that is on the level of a terrorist act? It must be seen as a terrorist act perpetrated by our own elected officials and their entourage against the American public. Who would accept this sort of behavior and not prosecute this as anything other than a criminal terrorist act against the public if it were carried out by any regular person? Where are our ethics as a society not to call these politicians out for their lack of regard for the American public??? Why are we not outraged and taking action when elected officials are clearly not working on behalf of the people, rather they are working against them. Were they not elected to protect and serve? Why not call them out, impeach and prosecute them? This is truly a "homeland security" issue in its most fundamental form.

    January 13, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. John W. Spencer

    I am watching Piers interview the lady who ran against Christie saying could you imagine him being in the White House and having a staff that would do these kinds of things and not know anything about it...incompetent. Well isn't this exactly what has been going on in the White House right now? The IRS scandal, the Affordable Health Care Act debacle, and the escapades in Benghazi??!! I mean seriously has she lost her mind?! LOL At least Christie fired some people, Obama continued to support those in his staff that kept information from him to "protect" him!! This investigation is laughable and although it must be done I believe it will only strengthen his popularity and his willingness to apologize and say that all of this was wrong is exactly what he should have done.

    January 14, 2014 at 12:43 am | Report abuse | Reply

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