Rachel Maddow: Why is Chris Christie changing his story on GWB closures?

By Arturo Garcia
Friday, February 7, 2014 0:13 EDT
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Rachel Maddow 020614 [MSNBC]
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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow blasted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Thursday for his recent claim that he sent members of his administration to look into the infamous lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, a statement he made just over a month after repeatedly saying he did no such thing.

“Why the new story?” Maddow demanded. “Why didn’t he ever mention this before? And did his chief counsel and chief of staff go to the Port Authority right after the bridge closures happened on the governor’s direct orders to get to the bottom of what happened? And if so, what did they do when they got there? And why did the governor never bring this up before, when he was asked what he was doing to get to the bottom of the situation?”

On Monday, Christie said during a radio interview that, upon hearing about the lane closures in October 2013, he dispatched Chief of Staff Kevin O’Dowd and chief counsel Charles McKenna to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to look into the matter. However, Maddow showed clips from a December 2013 press conference during which he dismissed reporters’ inquiries as attempts to undermine him, and repeatedly denied looking into the matter.

“You guys all wanna keep chasing it around, chase it around,” Christie told reporters last year. “It’s your business. But, I’m not running around doing [an] independent investigation.”

Christie also said at that time that he did not ask for more details about the bridge closures, stating, “I’m not a prosecutor anymore,” and took the since-debunked testimony to state lawmakers by Port Authority appointee Bill Baroni at face value because he didn’t “assume people are lying.”

Maddow also mentioned that the increasing amount of questions surrounding Christie’s administration — over both the lane closures and the possibility that Hurricane Sandy relief funds were mis-managed — have begun to take their toll on his tenure as chair of the Republican Governors’ Association. During his fundraising trip to Texas today, not only did Christie seclude himself from both the press and the public, but both current Gov. Rick Perry (R) and GOP hopeful Greg Abbott declined to join him.

“If Governor Christie is looking for the way this scandal ends, this one is not going to end until it makes sense,” Maddow said. “Until the governor’s explanations for what happened and why and who did it make sense.”

Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Thursday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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