"Ready for dinner"
During a town hall on Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took a shot at critics who say his attitude helped lead to Bridgegate by creating a toxic and vindictive office culture.
“If in fact I created a culture where people were going after each other, then how did we do all these things together with Republicans and Democrats?” Christie said. “The allegation that somehow this was a culture that was created just doesn’t have any basis in fact.”
After citing some of the policies passed under his watch with bipartisan majorities, Christie said, “This happens to someone who has created a culture of divisiveness?”
“That’d probably be one of the first times in American history where that happened,” he continued. “In the end, the results have been: We have gotten things done in this state that previous administrations have only dreamed of.”
Asked by an elderly audience member and supporter what to say when people argue Christie’s reputation for vindictiveness contributed to an atmosphere where a Bridgegate-like payback scheme was seen as acceptable, Christie recommended that the man demand critics point to hard evidence.
“What you can say to your friends,” Christie advised, “is: Point to something factual — something —that proves that.”
Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith.More Elias Isquith.