Congressman Grimm Comes To Chris Christie’s Defense In Bridgegate, Calling Apology “True Leadership”
Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm came to the defense of embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today, saying the fellow Republican has “demonstrated true leadership” amid the expanding scandal surrounding the George Washington Bridge.
Christie has come under fire after e-mails and text messages became public that suggested that staffers in the governor’s office ordered the closing of lanes on the bridge to create traffic jams in Fort Lee, New Jersey. It’s believed to be an act of political retribution against Fort Lee’s mayor, who backed a rival to the popular governor in the last gubernatorial election.
Christie was forced to address the issue yet again today, holding an exhaustive press conference in which he apologized profusely, and reiterated that he had no knowledge of the acts seemingly perpetrated by top aides.
“Governor Christie demonstrated true leadership and accountability during today’s press conference,” Grimm said in a statement, according to Politicker. “I have known Governor Christie since he was a United States Attorney with a distinguished anti-corruption record and I was an undercover agent working a high profile public corruption case with his office. I know him to be a man of unquestionable honor and ironclad integrity, and I take him at his word.”
During the conference, Christie also said he fired a senior aide who sent the messages, and has asked a former campaign manager who had been part of the e-mail conversation to leave the organization.
While all of the figures involved in the scandal were Republican, Grimm used the opportunity in an attempt to redirect public anger from Christie and towards Democrats and the Obama administration.
“In an a time when President Obama and key figures in his administration shamelessly pass the buck and avoid accountability for one massive failure after another, the Governor’s swift and immediate action to dismiss those responsible, commit himself to a full vetting of his staff, and embrace his responsibility as his state’s chief executive is both uncommon and refreshing,” Grimm said.
Governor Chris Christie endorsed Grimm during his Congressional campaign. The congressman is headed into another fierce campaign year against a well-funded Democrat, Domenic Recchia, and may be seeking the otherwise popular governor’s support once again.
The statement has sparked a response from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has been relentlessly pursuing Grimm, who they see as vulnerable, by frequently reminding voters of allegations against the congressman of fundraising misconduct. Here’s their response, as reported by Politicker:
“It’s comes as no surprise that Congressman Michael Grimm who is currently being investigated by the FBI himself, would be the first elected official in the country to come to Chris Christie’s defense,” said Marc Brumer, the northeast regional press secretary for the DCCC. “Maybe they can they can carpool to federal court together.
“Only Congressman Michael Grimm would use a scandal in another state to try to divert attention from his own scandal plagued tenure in office. Another day, another desperate attempt by Congressman Grimm to distract New Yorkers from his failed record,” added Mr. Brumer.