Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

'Frustrated' Christie makes bold claim about Trump election

'Frustrated' Christie makes bold claim about Trump election

New Jersey legislators have sent to Gov. Chris Christie's desk a measure authorizing billions of dollars in tax credits to lure Amazon's second headquarters to the state.

Christie is nearing the end of his time in the governor's office, with his second term set to expire on January 16.

In an exit interview with NJ.com, he had a message for the Garden State's voters and media.

And, as if to underscore how hard it can be to remember politics in New Jersey before Christie's rise, he traced the arc of his political career back to his tenure as US attorney - for which he was nominated by President George W. Bush - to his chairing of President Donald Trump's opioid commission.

Christie did not speak about his failed run for president in 2016, nor the Bridgegate scandal, in which Bill Baroni, a former deputy director at the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, who was Christie's deputy chief of staff, were convicted in connection with the September 2013 lane closures at the approach to the George Washington Bridge.

The book relies on extensive interviews with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who shockingly questions the president's competence and who describes a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer as "treasonous" and "unpatriotic".

"What Bridgegate did was deprive me of the benefit of the doubt - that's all", he said. "But that's what it did".

Polling did not necessarily confirm Christie's impression, however. However, when 2015 rolled around, the governor chose to launch a bid for president anyway. His 2016 campaign ended with a poor showing in New Hampshire.

The book says Christie was picked to lead the transition with the "the implicit promise of a central job - attorney general or chief of staff".

He also said that when Trump took jabs at him on the campaign trail by bringing up Bridgegate, he called Trump up personally to tell him to cut it out. "The issues you're talking about are exciting".

He said the state is eagerly awaiting a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in New Jersey's attempt to have legalized sports gambling in Atlantic City, an effort that he said he kept at even when "experts" advised him to abandon it. He's so direct, he's so blunt. But we love your husband.

"I ran to be different".

Christie leaves office Tuesday, January 16 after eight years as governor. Analysts said anti-Christie sentiment was a major factor in the race.

"I want to tell you, none of this could have been accomplished without the relentless will of George Norcross", Christie said as he waved to Norcross in the gallery.

"I do not regret one minute of it, despite the impact it has had on my political standing", Christie said. "Governor Christie will be remembered as the most successful governor this state has had this century", Bucco said.

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