Chris Christie update: Giuliani flip-flops while Christie’s poll numbers sink

But, hey, at least Christie's got the Super Bowl to look forward to!

Topics: Chris Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, The New York Times, Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani, Geraldo Rivera, David Samson, Rockefeller Group, Dawn Zimmer, hoboken, The Washington Post, Wolfson & Samson, , ,

Probably because of his well-documented problems with the GOP’s Tea Party base, Chris Christie never benefited from a ton of high-profile Republicans offering their support and defending the governor in public. But after former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s  comments on Thursday — supposedly given in Christie’s defense — the governor of New Jersey may decide having Republican friends in high places is more trouble than it’s worth.

Here are the latest developments in the Chris Christie saga:

  • Speaking on the radio with Geraldo Rivera, Giuliani estimated the chances that Christie knew of the lane closure at the George Washington Bridge to be dead even. “It’s 50-50, it leaves you with no possible way of knowing did [Bridget Anne Kelly] discuss it with him or didn’t she discuss it with him,” said Giuliani. “I like Chris very much and he’s being unfairly treated, and he’s a good friend,” he added.
  • Not long after Giuliani’s comments had made the media rounds, however, the former presidential candidate was backtracking, furiously. Saying he was “offended” by how the media characterized his remarks, Giuliani insisted he was only commenting on the chances that a recent New York Times article — which described Christie’s operation as obsessed with winning over Democratic mayors’ endorsements, and Christie himself as a micromanaging, details-oriented leader of the team — proved Christie knew about the George Washington Bridge payback scheme. If this strikes you as a distinction without a difference, join the club.
  • Meanwhile, folks involved with Christie’s reelection campaign are hoping to use their leftover funds to pay the legal fees associated with the Bridgegate investigation.
  • In other legal-financial news, the Christie administration has agreed to pay $650 per hour to a law firm to represent some of the top Christie advisers who find themselves embroiled in the Bridgegate scandal.
  • The Rockefeller Group, the developer who sought to build an office complex in Hoboken — a vision Christie allegedly agreed with so much that he was willing to blackmail Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer to get it — has severed ties with the law firm Wolfson & Samson, whose founder, David Samson, was chairman of the Port Authority when Bridgegate happened.
  • In political news, Christie continues to see his poll numbers drop, with the latest poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents from the Washington Post finding New Jersey’s governor in third place among likely candidates for the 2016 GOP nomination. Before Bridgegate happened, he was in first.
  • And in case you were wondering, Christie thinks the Broncos will win Sunday’s Super Bowl game.
Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith, and email him at eisquith@salon.com.

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