One man asked about the scandal at the meeting in Flemington after telling the governor he looks better in person than he does on television and offering to pick up his dry cleaning and have some beers with him, the Star-Ledger of Newark reported. Christie responded with a summary of the talking points from his January news conference.
Rush-hour traffic in Fort Lee, at the New Jersey end of the George Washington Bridge, was stalled for four days in September after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed several access routes.
Emails between Christie's deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and one of his top appointees at the Port Authority were released months later that suggested the lane closings, ostensibly for a traffic study, were actually political payback against Bergen County Democrats who refused to endorse Christie for reelection.
"The whole press conference was about the fact that what happened was absolutely unacceptable," Christie said Thursday, adding that Kelly would have been dismissed even if she had told him the truth about her actions.
When the questioner suggested Christie should have called the Fort Lee lane closings illegal, the governor had his response ready: "You don't have the luxury to give your opinion on that when there's an investigation going on that you have to cooperate with in every way."
A woman told Christie he is not being treated fairly: "I feel very sorry for you in the whole situation. People are getting the impression that you're guilty before you're proved innocent. I don't think enough people are defending you on that."
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