Christie predicts ‘Bridgegate’ will only be a ‘footnote’ by the time he decides about 2016

 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) predicted Wednesday that the widely covered traffic scandal involving former aides and appointees will not harm his political future and will only be a "footnote" on his record as he weighs a run for president in 2016.

"As far as the impact on my political future, I think it will have none because I didn't do anything," Christie said.

The governor made his remarks in an interview with Bob Schieffer of CBS at an economic policy summit in Washington. He insisted once again that he knew nothing about the incident, in which former aides and appointees snarled traffic on the George Washington Bridge in an apparent act of political retribution. State lawmakers and federal prosecutors are looking into the matter.

Christie, who is weighing a White House bid, said his future will be based on his record as governor and how New Jersey residents feel about him. "If I decide to do something more, it's going to be how the people in the country feel about me. But I think this will be a footnote by the time any of those decisions need to be made," he said.

Christie also weighed in on the debate over raising the minimum wage. After explaining that he has advocated a gradual raise in his state, Christie said that he does not think raising the minimum wage "creates greater opportunity."

Looking ahead to the 2014 midterms, Christie argued that if Republicans win back the Senate, it will provide President Obama with a chance to make progress on trade and fiscal issues during his final two years.

"I think it would present the president with an extraordinary opportunity.  ... I think on issues of trade and tax reform, that the president could find areas of compromise with Republicans more than he finds them with Senate Democrats," said Christie.

Christie also reflected on his comment in a Tuesday radio interview that it would be "stressful" to run for president against Jeb Bush, who he calls a "friend."

"I know I'd have fun with Jeb on the campaign trail," Christie said.

The summit Christie spoke at was sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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