Questions from the Chris Christie Barbeque

I have taken the transcripts from the Chris Christie Inquisition which occurred in New Jersey over the artificial traffic jam created by some in his office.

I’ve held off several days to let it all shake out… frankly the use of government power to do these types of things is unacceptable regardless of who is doing it.  But that isn’t my point with this post.  I will also not be delving into the obvious “didn’t the press get the message that all of this was to be saved until Christie was the Nominee” problem the Democrats have.

The point here is:

Where are these questions for President Obama regarding Fast and Furious… Benghazi… NSA Domestic Spying… Political Targeting by the IRS

Do these reporters only exist in New Jersey?

Here are some of my favorite Questions (Bold and Italics are mine… replace “Governor” with “Mr. President”, replace “U.S. Attorney” with “Constitutional Law Professor” and you can replace the below actors with Holder, Clinton, Clapper et al. for effect.)

Governor, beyond the apology and the terminations that you’ve announced, what other steps — concrete steps do you plan to take to demonstrate to the people of New Jersey and the people of the country that you want to change the perception of what has happened here? And will that include working cooperatively with these investigations that are now moving forward because in the past you had some rather nasty words for the people who were heading them up?

Your critics say this reveals that you are a political bully, that your style is payback. Are you? And does this compromise your ability to serve?

Governor, you say that you’re going to individually interview all the members of the governor’s office.  What about the campaign? Are you going to — are you going to personally interview —

How confident are you that this doesn’t rise above Bill Stepien in the campaign?  But there were plenty of other officials, some of them quite close to you.  You’re sure that they didn’t know about?

How confident are you that this tactic — this bullying tactic, this revenge/retribution tactic — did not go beyond — (off mic)?  But you can tell us that you do not authorize this kind of retribution.

Can you understand why people would have a hard time believing that you didn’t know about this thing? Considering your management style and the closeness of your staff, if you didn’t know about it, what does that say about your ability to lead?

Governor, the U.S. attorney in New Jersey has said he’s opening an investigation to determine whether a federal law was violated here. You were the U.S. attorney in New Jersey at one time. Would you, as a U.S. attorney — would you think that there’s anything to be investigated — (off mic) —

Are there any other — are there any other cases — have you asked from your staff if there are any other cases of political retribution conducted during your campaign to other mayors — (in New Jersey ?)?  (Inaudible) — now that you know it did happen?

You say you’re going to continue to ask these questions of your staff. I want to know what kind of questions you might be asking of yourself. These aren’t just any of the 65,000 employees, these are people — five or six people as close to you as you can get — people you trust — (inaudible) — to your birthday party, and they either —  Went to a birthday party.  One of your staff — (one of the ?) staffers you fired this morning  So, I’m just asking, what do you ask yourself about — they either thought this is what the boss wanted, or they — as a group, they were willing to go rogue and do this and then try to cover it up — (inaudible) —

Governor, the mayor of Jersey City is quoted as saying that today he declined to endorse you and said he would vote Democrat, and as many as 10 appointments between state officials and Jersey City officials were cancelled suddenly, all at once.  How do you explain that in the context of what you now know about what some of your staff did?

Yeah, I heard that you actually — when your staff read the Bergen Record and learned something in terms of situational awareness, does the universal apology to the state of New Jersey include the press corps?

I’m wondering what your staff said to you about why they lied to you. Why would they do that? What was their explanation? And what about Mr. Samson? What role did he play in this?

Governor, you mentioned earlier that — (off mic) — asking the question is what did I — (off mic) — lie to me, but are you also asking the question, what did I say or how did I conduct myself in the office to behave in a way that would lend these folks to think it was OK to carry out such a scheme like this? (Off mic) — that suspicions that (you fostered ?) — (off mic) — through your administration or your campaign that allowed people to think it was OK to intimidate or retaliate against people?

(Off mic) — apologize to the (road men ?) there. Are you going to also apologize for the joke you made — (off mic) —  What prompted you to joke about it in the —

(Off mic) — your campaign, did you guys every (sic) go into and say that this is what happens if you endorse us?

Governor, you said you had been doing some soul-searching. I’m wondering if you’re soul-searching about the kind of people you hire, or the kind of people who run your campaigns, or the kind of people you want to run the Republican Party who are willing to apparently engage in political retribution and also call the mayor reportedly a racially insensitive man.

(Off mic) — how much of a crisis in confidence — (off mic) — people you surrounding yourself with and your ability to accept future leadership roles?

Governor — (off mic) — just found out about — (off mic) — story. Is that just a misstatement, or —

OK. The (other thing is ?), in terms of drilling down down now that you’ve been able to get a handle a little bit more on — (off mic) — what happened (then ?)? Was there a threat or an ask for an endorsement? Was there then retribution?

So you still don’t know what prompted an apparent vendetta? OK.

Two questions about your judgment. You said clearly that you had nothing to do with the actual implementation of what happened. So are you now questioning your own judgment about whether or not you can discern with your nose for scandal — to discern whether or not putting out a series of cones to change a couple of lanes of traffic was actually a legitimate traffic study, one?

So in this environment, it didn’t raise a smell for you?

You’ve said — you’ve said that — just a moment ago that sometimes this raises to the level of governors. There’s a report now that in fact you called Governor Cuomo to complain that your representative on the Port Authority board was asking too many questions — (inaudible) —

Governor, didn’t Pat Foye perjure himself when he said he didn’t believe this traffic study — (inaudible) — did he lie under oath — (inaudible)

(Off mic) — right? You still think everything he said was genuine and that he’s not in any way —

Why didn’t you check back — (off mic)? You never called him to see —

(Off mic) — with Stepien yesterday, what was going on, why he —

(Are you not curious ?) — (off mic) — what happened here yourself?  I mean, it has come out —

What about — what about the cover-up piece of this?

There are multiple reports that an elderly woman in — (inaudible) — died after emergency — (inaudible). What’s your reaction?

Governor, along the lines of doing the job as governor that you have said that you’re focused on — regaining the trust of the people of New Jersey — a lot of people are upset about this and shocked. The first couple of years you were governor, you did a lot of town hall meetings. You traveled all over the state and spoke to people. Any thought about possibly trying to do something like that again?  (Editor note: Could you imagine the President going on a town hall type tour to promote Obama Care let alone even being asked to do so?)

Governor, as a U.S. attorney, you — (off mic) –hundreds if not thousands of people.  So how could you fail to get the truth from your own staff?

Governor, you were a U.S. attorney, very high-profile, in fact investigated one governor — (off mic) — governor’s office and a state party. You now are a governor who has a U.S. attorney investigating people that (sic) were connected to your office. What instructions are you giving, have you given to your staff? What will you do? And can we expect to see claims of executive privilege and, no — (off mic) — you cannot have documents, or are you going to cooperate fully and very helpfully?

In terms of — it seems like your fact-finding is still getting some momentum. You’re still finding out what’s going on. Do you think this could have an impact and you should put on hold — (off mic) — O’Dowd’s nomination to be the attorney general since he was the chief of staff and would probably be involved in setting the tone?

You mentioned this as we saw from the emails, that too much of this discussion was taking place on private email accounts. Have you asked your staff to stop communicating government business on private email accounts?

Have you requested any more documents?

Bridget Kelly, did she have the authorization to carry out significant policy decisions such as an authorization of the governor’s office — (off mic) — or funding without getting prior approval from you or your senior staff — (off mic) — authorized to make those decisions?

(Inaudible) — supposition, or as a follow-up question, is that I believe there is — (inaudible) — that some share that they find it hard to believe that Bridget could be — would be making these kind of calls, making these kinds of decisions, as reflected in the email that we saw yesterday, without prior approval, without the knowledge of senior staff.

Governor, you just said — (off mic) — I have nothing to hide, and then you repeated “I have nothing to hide”.  In your long public career at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, first term as governor, second term now, did you ever imagine you’d stand in front of this many cameras and this many reporters and have to say, I have nothing to hide?

Governor, obviously this has been a traumatic experience. You said you got very little if any sleep whatsoever last night. Did you ever for even a brief moment entertain the idea that perhaps you should resign?  (Editor note:  The reporter left out “Or kill yourself?”  Can you again imagine this being asked by the DC Press Corp?)

There were some folks that raised an eyebrow — (off mic) — with Mr. Baroni’s resignation at the news conference where you had asked — (off mic) — replaced by Deborah Gramiccioni, but that was something that was in the works and that you were trying to advance. Looking back on it now — (off mic) — clarify how that process played out, do you think Mr. Baroni was jumping ship a little bit here, trying to get out — (off mic) — political — were you guys moving to replace him before that news conference?

Governor, a couple of hours after the story broke yesterday, the assembly transportation boss, Wisniewski, was discussing the fact that the more he learns about this — he’s reading thousands of pages of documents — the longer the list was growing of people he would be thinking about issuing a subpoena to. And he was asked if that could possibly include you.

And he said he had the authority to issue a subpoena to anybody who he needs to get information from. If you were to get a subpoena, for whatever reason, what would you do?

Governor, the revealing nature of these emails made some of us wonder what else — what other emails — (off mic). (Off mic) — filed a number of requests for emails related to this, and they were told there was nothing available. And yet these emails that were released yesterday reveal that there — (off mic) — related to this issue. Is there a — did you know about that? Is there a transparency issue in general — (off mic)?

Governor, I’m wondering when you were first called for comment on the story, and whether you think this will affect your ability at the — (off mic).

— throughout this entire press conference you’ve said that you’re a loyal person, you expect loyalty, and you fired this person on your staff because she lied. Are you the victim here, or is — are the people of Fort Lee the victim? Should she have been fired because she ordered a traffic study that messed up traffic and put people in danger in that sense —- traffic problems.

Governor Christie, but one of the things is that in terms of a lying standpoint, the very person who has probably these most information about why she did this is the very person you cut off communication with. Isn’t that a management mistake?

Well, I’m saying talk to her. I mean, in terms of the conversation, like why did you do this? Get some information.

Like tampering with a witness — (inaudible)?  (Editor note: !)

(Inaudible) — something though about — (inaudible) — what point does political misconduct cross into criminality?

(Off mic) — that these people with emails — (off mic). These emails say that they took action in front of your constituents to try to — (off mic). They focused on the — (off mic) — but they did something that conned your constituents.

Is your credibility — (off mic)?

So — (off mic) — David Wildstein, is it possible that there could be other emails that Bridget Kelly may have shipped — have sent about this issue to other people — (off mic) — Port Authority, in your administration that you don’t know about at this time? And are you going to take– make an effort to look at computers and BlackBerrys and things like that in (her ?) office to see if these things are — (off mic)?

Governor, one of the things — (off mic) — this impression that you’re not sort of — (inaudible). And a lot of your opponents will use this as a — sort of — (inaudible) — like, see, we got you. You know, it’s always the same. Is there any level of political retribution that is acceptable and — (inaudible)?

Governor, there have been other examples of allegations of improper political behavior by state government — I’m thinking particularly about the Hunterdon county sheriff whose case was taken from the county prosecutor — (off mic) — knowing what you know now about, you know, your staffer lying to you, are you going to go back and look at some of those other situations and see what — (off mic) —

The mayor did say at one point there was some significant overtime involved for first responders in terms of police. Is that something that you would consider to — (off mic) — campaign fund, to reimburse — (off mic)?

Since I Cherry Picked… Full Transcript Here.

Keep in mind, it’s not Just the questions it’s the follow-up and order of the questions.  It the fact that there were NO softballs.  Not a single reporter asked him if this was “the toughest day of his life” or “How is your family holding up?” etc.

I’m sure that this tenacity has nothing to do with Christie being a Republican, even if he is one in name only.

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About Mike

Background is in Media with a little History Major thrown in just to be annoying. View all posts by Mike

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