Christie goes on attack against Wildstein, NYT

posted at 9:21 am on February 3, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

After Friday afternoon’s bombshell and then walkback from the New York Times and the attorney for former aide David Wildstein, Chris Christie went back on offense on “Bridgegate.” This weekend, Christie sent an e-mail blasting both Wildstein and the Times to political allies, a communication which Politico received, telling his friends and supporters that “David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein”:

The subject line of the 700-word email from the governor’s office is: “5 Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That’s Not A Bombshell.” It offers a harshly negative portrayal of Wildstein’s character and judgment.

The Christie camp begins by criticizing The Times for its initial characterization of the Wildstein letter: “A media firestorm was set off by sloppy reporting from the New York Times and their suggestion that there was actually ‘evidence’ when it was a letter alleging that ‘evidence exists.’”

The Times’ original story said that Wildstein claimed “he had the evidence to prove it,” while later versions stuck to his lawyer’s vaguer “evidence exists” formulation.

If you think Christie was just correcting the record on Bridgegate, thing again. The e-mail took aim not just at his former aide’s activities in the scandal, but attacks Wildstein’s record going all the way back to high school:

Then, it gets personal. “In David Wildstein’s past, people and newspaper accounts have described him as ‘tumultuous’ and someone who ‘made moves that were not productive,’” the email continues. “David Wildstein has been publicly asking for immunity since the beginning, been held in contempt by the New Jersey legislature for refusing to testify, failed to provide this so-called ‘evidence’ when he was first subpoenaed by the NJ Legislature and is looking for the Port Authority to pay his legal bills.”

The email dips far back into Wildstein’s past to buttress its portrayal of him, even alleging that “He was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.”

The e-mail also calls into question Wildstein’s motives for changing his story now, while under criminal investigation. Christie notes that Wildstein never mentioned this evidence when subpoenaed by the New Jersey legislature, and even a few Democrats in the legislature are questioning Wildstein’s motives:

A key New Jersey Democrat said Sunday that a new accusation about Gov. Chris Christie’s knowledge of the bridge closing scandal enveloping his administration is unproven and raises credibility questions about the accuser.

New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski said on NBC’s Meet the Press that the allegation from former Christie ally David Wildstein that there is evidence Christie knew of the George Washington Bridge lane closings last September as they were occurring doesn’t match the documents Wildstein has given the investigating committee.

Wildstein, a former Port Authority executive, “submitted over 900 pages of documents in response to the committee’s subpoena. Apparently what’s he talking about must be something other” than what he has already given the committee, Wisniewski said.

The New Jersey politician leading the investigation into the Chris Christie bridge scandal discusses the latest information in the case.

He added that it was “a great question” why Wildstein did not turn over to the legislative panel evidence of Christie’s knowledge of or involvement in the bridge closing scheme if he in fact had any such evidence.

“It really raises questions,” Wisniewski said when asked about Wildstein’s credibility.

Indeed it does, and that’s what Christie wants — to raise questions about these late disclosures. Taking it back to high school is over the top, but Christie apparently wanted to send a clear message that the gloves were off. If Wildstein really does have something significant on Christie, would the governor get this pugilistic with him? I’d tend to doubt it, but we’ll see.

By the way, guess who’s coming to CPAC this year?  I mean, other than the comic relief.


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“He was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.”

What. Really?

These politico punks, acting like drama queens. How did it come to this, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to Dog Eater and Dirigible.

Bishop on February 3, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Mmm … popcorn …

M240H on February 3, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Where’s the “Uh oh”, and the glaring red font? Why is AP such a sucker for NYT attack pieces? You need to get him out of that city, Ed.

NotCoach on February 3, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Christie seems like someone that would blame some mistake he made on a YouTube video…..

Electrongod on February 3, 2014 at 9:28 AM

The problem with this type of attack, calling him “‘tumultuous’ and someone who ‘made moves that were not productive,’” and bringing up high school is Christie is the person who hired him and put him in that position. It’s an acknowledgement on Christie’s part that he doesn’t vet his own people very well.

Flange on February 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

If politics is just showbiz for ugly people, why the hell are we watching Real Housewives of Hoboken?

M240H on February 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

… on the other hand, Krispy does bear a certain resemblance to Honey-Boo-Boo’s mom …

M240H on February 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Cristie is the only one who looks credible in this entire fiasco at this point. He still won’t get my vote but I believe him.

Perhaps he will take this as a lesson. You can not “make nice” with these people in the long run. Politics will trump all else.

Mord on February 3, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Tony Soprano is not happy.

David Wildstein better be on the lookout for Silvio.

Bitter Clinger on February 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Wildstein is bad, blah, blah, blah… and yet wasn’t Wildstein’s appointment to the Port Authority made at the behest of Christie? So, why would Christie knowingly appoint somebody with such questionable character?

Hill60 on February 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Aural attack of the 500 pound jelly-filled.

And about as convincing as a bake shop owner who doesn’t eat what he bakes.

platypus on February 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

But the lsm is focused on Christie instead of the others changing stories

Figures

cmsinaz on February 3, 2014 at 9:38 AM

The problem with this type of attack, calling him “‘tumultuous’ and someone who ‘made moves that were not productive,’” and bringing up high school is Christie is the person who hired him and put him in that position. It’s an acknowledgement on Christie’s part that he doesn’t vet his own people very well.

Flange on February 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Indeed.

Bitter Clinger on February 3, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Christie knew the guy’s past when he created a 6 figure job in the PA for him. He hired him to be thug, plain and simple. That said, he’s probably just trying to get immunity before Bridget Kelly beats him to the punch.

Right Wingnut on February 3, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Results for #Bridgegate

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Bridgegate&src=hash

canopfor on February 3, 2014 at 9:41 AM

David Wildstein has been publicly asking for immunity since the beginning, been held in contempt by the New Jersey legislature for refusing to testify, failed to provide this so-called ‘evidence’ when he was first subpoenaed by the NJ Legislature and is looking for the Port Authority to pay his legal bills.

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that Team Christie is not afraid of this liar.

So who’s keep score of the ‘bombshells’ so far?

1) DHoboken mayor makes a ridiculous accusation, backtracks, is no longer credible because she lied.
2) Wildstein’s lawyers make an accusation unsupported by any evidence in existence, the NYT backtracks and has to alter their hit piece from ‘bombshell’ to ‘non-bombshell’ status, and here we are again.

New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski said on NBC’s Meet the Press that the allegation from former Christie ally David Wildstein that there is evidence Christie knew of the George Washington Bridge lane closings last September as they were occurring doesn’t match the documents Wildstein has given the investigating committee.

A solid source for Christie haters to hitch their wagons to this week.

Who’s next?

Good Lt on February 3, 2014 at 9:42 AM

N.J. Governor Christie aides face subpoena deadline in bridge scandal probe

By Edith Honan

NEW YORK Mon Feb 3, 2014 5:04am EST
***********************************

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/03/us-usa-politics-christie-aides-idUSBREA120FS20140203?feedType=nl&feedName=usmorningdigest

canopfor on February 3, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Taking it back to HS is over the top? Hardly. Christie is a prosecutor. He’s building his case with Wildstein’s previous unstable behavior. Wouldn’t want to be him right now.

vityas on February 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM

For someone who claimed that he hardly knew Wildstein who he went to school with, during his two hour Press Conference. Who was “His” appointment to the Port Authority.

He sure managed to come up with “Total Recall” remembering a whole lot about his former “bud”, now that he’s turned on him.

Cripy Crisco just made a huge mistake here.

De Oppresso Liber on February 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM

I’ve said all along he should make this a case against the dishonest and vicious media. But he should have stayed away from the personal attacks on former staffers.

rrpjr on February 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM

nice pic of Christie..looks like he had money on Denver.

ToddPA on February 3, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Good for him. About time a Republican fought back and quit listening to all of the hand wringers, like the ones showing up already on this thread. If he is in the right, then hit em, and hit em hard. Like Chesty Puller said: “You can’t hurt em, if you can’t hit em.” The rest of the Republican party needs to be doing this also instead of just taking it.

gator70 on February 3, 2014 at 9:58 AM

The boos at Superbowl events tell the story. He’s toast.

libfreeordie on February 3, 2014 at 10:08 AM

The problem with this type of attack, calling him “‘tumultuous’ and someone who ‘made moves that were not productive,’” and bringing up high school is Christie is the person who hired him and put him in that position. It’s an acknowledgement on Christie’s part that he doesn’t vet his own people very well.

Flange on February 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Very possible that Wildstein is a dufus, but an old friend that Christie wanted to give a job to, so he stashed him in what looked like an unimportant job at the Port Authority where he was unlikely to do anything embarrassing. Occasionally those appointments do come back to bite you. And it sucks when your local paper is the New York Times.

If you don’t think this happens, let me tell you about all the idiot political appointees I worked with at HUD in the Reagan and Bush administrations. HUD was a dumping ground for all kinds of California morons and campaign donors and children of donors. Very few appointees there were actually qualified. And it was no wonder they created a major scandal in 1988-89.

rockmom on February 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

I think Ed is correct when he suggests that this is a message to Wildstein. As in, “we go back a long way, of all the things I know about you, how much do you want me to reveal?”

oldernwiser on February 3, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Another Christie staffer resigns after receiving subpoena.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/chris-christie-staffer-christina-genovese-renna-resigns-103009.html?hp=l3

Right Wingnut on February 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM

And when we read beyond the headlines:

“This reflects a decision I have been considering since shortly after the election,” Renna said in a statement provided by her attorney, Henry Klingeman of Newark, N.J. Christie was elected to a second term last November.

“I have spent almost four years working hard for a governor I continue to respect and admire. The transition from term one to term two is a natural time to pursue an opportunity in the private sector,” Renna said.

Renna was the governor’s director of intergovernmental affairs, according to her attorney. She left on her own terms and was not fired, her attorney said. She has not been accused of wrongdoing during the probe into the lane closures, their motivation and the extent of the governor’s office’s involvement in them. The governor himself has denied any involvement in any alleged

Another “BOMBSHELL.”

Good Lt on February 3, 2014 at 10:14 AM

It’s an acknowledgement on Christie’s part that he doesn’t vet his own people very well.

Flange on February 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

That is what I am thinking also. This leaves him even more vulnerable in the Primaries if he does run. His opponents will just pick this apart saying he surrounds himself with losers and corrupt people and would do the same if he became President.

Johnnyreb on February 3, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Okay, this begs the question of how someone with questionable morals and a history of bad behavior is an aide to begin with. He goes back to high school with claims against this guy and yet he appears to have been a confidante of long standing with some degree of power.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2014 at 10:14 AM

The boos at Superbowl events tell the story. He’s toast.

libfreeordie on February 3, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Yeah, and Obama was toast after the IRS scandal.

LOL

Good Lt on February 3, 2014 at 10:14 AM

oldernwiser on February 3, 2014 at 10:14 AM

I agree and it says just as much about Christie as it does about Wildstein.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Good Lt on February 3, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Aww, Darlin, is this who you have your heart set on for 2016?

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Stories like these leave one thinking its no wonder that good people are reluctant to enter politics. Nevertheless, it does seem that some of Gov. Christie’s staff were third stringers.

KW64 on February 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Aww, Darlin, is this who you have your heart set on for 2016?

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2014 at 10:17 AM

No, sweetie. I’d prefer he stay right here in NJ and keep the property tax caps where they are, since Democrats in NJ are incapable of doing that.

You know as well as I do that the media declared him the candidate simply because the GOP field is so consistently weak and every ‘potential candidate’ like Huckabee, Jeb Bush or whomever gets crushed by Hillary Clinton (and Christie didn’t) in polling.

Good Lt on February 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Okay, this begs the question of how someone with questionable morals and a history of bad behavior is an aide to begin with. He goes back to high school with claims against this guy and yet he appears to have been a confidante of long standing with some degree of power.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Wildstein wasn’t an “aide,” he was a guy Christie knew and gave a patronage job to in what is normally a backwater agency, the Port Authority. The PA has long been a dumping ground for patronage appointments.

“Aides” are people who work in the Governor’s office.

rockmom on February 3, 2014 at 10:29 AM

rockmom on February 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

That’s fine, but everyone else does it, doesn’t make a great campaign speech. In the end, the person doing the hiring takes a hit when his hire screws up. Or at least it use to be that way.

Flange on February 3, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Good Lt on February 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM

I hope he does a great job for New Jersey but anytime the media builds up someone on the Right (even nominally from the Right) it is only to tear them down at a later day.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2014 at 10:31 AM

rockmom on February 3, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Thanks for the clarification. Is the Port Authority a joint venture with New York? That said, it would appear that patronage jobs can really screw up the works given the right person.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Both Christie and Wildstein have reason to lie. Either Wildstein has proof or not. Obviously he will only reveal it when he has immunity, because whatever he has probably implicates him too.

Tasha on February 3, 2014 at 10:44 AM

No, sweetie. I’d prefer he stay right here in NJ and keep the property tax caps where they are, since Democrats in NJ are incapable of doing that.

Good Lt on February 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM

OK. Got it….

….On the contrary, the tax burden on the average New Jersey family has increased 18.6% under Christie. That is not to say that Christie is exclusively responsible for the dire economic situation in the state–Governor Jon Corzine shut down the government because the legislature refused to pay taxes– but nothing seems to have improved since Christie’s time in office, despite Christie running a campaign based in large part on economic recovery. Under his tenure, 25% of New Jersey’s youth are moving back in with their parents and rampant crime is overtaking urban centers like Newark and Camden….

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/01/16/Study-Christie-s-New-Jersey-Least-Economically-Solvent-State-In-The-U-S

Right Wingnut on February 3, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Anyone who has ever read my comments knows that I not only dislike Christie, I absolutely despise him.

That being said, even if all allegations are true, Bridgegate is to Fast & Furious,the Obamacare Disaster, Job Recovery Tanking, BenhaziGate,Syriagate, Afghanistanbgate and 40 other national and international bungles, scandals and disasters–as shoplifting is to mass murder at a mall.

Point number one-liberals desperately need a minor(blowing it up as a major ) Republican scandal as a DIVERSION to an entire country tanking as the result of Democratic corruption and mismanagement.

Point number two-If you enjoy being betrayed, make friends with a liberal.

MaiDee on February 3, 2014 at 11:11 AM

MaiDee on February 3, 2014 at 11:11 AM

I agree. The difference in this coverage is so very interesting. Take the IRS scandal, the media portrays it as just a slow down due to the extra caution of a mammoth bureaucracy while ignoring the attempts to gather illegal information, the monetary outlay these groups have to spend on lawyers and the curtailing of their agenda while be scrutinized. Whether these groups get the tax status they seek, the agenda of the Left has been fulfilled.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Good grief. I don’t know how you can substantiate a charge of someone being ‘tumultuous’ and someone who ‘made moves that were not productive,’”. I know a LOT of people that statement would apply to, including myself. It seems a little tawdry to also bring up a vague accusation about someone’s high school years. C’mon, Christie, grow up.

scalleywag on February 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Meanwhile the head of the NJ legislative committee investigating this, a Democrat, again said they haven’t found any evidence tying it to Christie, but promised to keep on digging.

This is a waste of time, especially when compared with how uninterested the MSM seems to be in the IRS scandal, or the failure to defend the embassy in Benghazi. I couldn’t care less about Christie. I don’t live in New York or New Jersey and most Americans don’t either.

flataffect on February 3, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Christie on Nyt

Published by Alex Pappas
Chris Christie responds to the NYT

http://www.scribd.com/doc/204318815/Christie-on-Nyt

canopfor on February 3, 2014 at 7:47 PM