During a three-day political treat hosted by Mitt Romney in Utah, Gov. Chris Christie did his best to assure nervous GOP donors that the worst of his much-documented Bridgegate scandal had already passed and that it would pose no significant threat to his likely 2016 presidential run, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The Times is going off of reports from those who attended a speech Christie gave to about 300 influential donors which was closed to the media. According to the Times sources, Christie acknowledged that Bridgegate questions were likely to dog him throughout any possible 2016 campaign, but claimed that such questions wouldn’t pose too great a threat to him, anyway.
The Times also reports that, during his speech, Christie described the Bridgegate ordeal as a media conspiracy intended to take him down a peg after his blowout reelection in 2013. According to the Times, Christie described the media feeding frenzy as an attempt to deny him “more altitude” in advance of the next presidential race.
“Don’t be so nervous,” Christie reportedly told a donor during the address, in reference to Bridgegate. “I’m not that worried about it,” Christie added. “I hope none of you are worried about it, though I expect some of you are.”
“But you’ll get over it,” he continued. “It will be fine.”
As another sign of how seriously Christie is still taking a 2016 run, the governor and one-time frenemy of Mitt Romney closed his speech by praising the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, who is especially beloved by many of the party’s wealthiest and most powerful donors, for sticking by him during the days immediately after Bridgegate broke.
“Whenever you’re under attack in a significant way that we have been,” Christie said, “what you find out is who your real friends are.” Christie, evidently, thinks Romney (and his coterie of rich supporters) is a friend indeed.