HOBOKEN, N.J.– New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited a school in Camden Thursday, and aside from his inauguration speech Tuesday it was his first public event since Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer accused his administration of bullying tactics.
He didn’t take any questions from press, instead briskly walking out of the event at Dudley Family School to shouted press questions with a “No questions today, guys.”
He did field some questions from children at the elementary school, though, with one asking the governor, “How do you keep everything under control?” He answered with a laugh, “Not so well sometimes, it depends on the day, man, it depends on the day.”
“This is what you have to learn in life, you can try and control everything, but you can’t,” Christie said, the closest he came to addressing the controversy Thursday. “So sometimes things get out of control and what matters is how you fix them when it gets out of control…every once in a while it doesn’t work out and you got to make sure you go ahead and fix it when it doesn’t work out.”
The kids even got some more colorful answers out of their governor, including his favorite subject in the fifth grade: “Social Studies” and his favorite movie, which he told the kids they were too young for right now, “The Godfather,” adding the film contains “lots of life lessons.”
Christie was at the school to unveil a pilot after-school dinner program that began this month in six Camden schools.
The event came on the same day that federal prosecutors subpoenaed Christie’s re-election campaign and the Republican State Committee seeking documents related to the lanes closure scandal engulfing his administration. Prosecutors are investigating allegations that top Christie aides closed lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge in September as political payback against a local Democratic mayor who chose not to endorse Christie’s re-election effort.
A statement from the attorneys representing both the campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee said they “intend to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s office and the state legislative committee and will respond to the subpoenas accordingly.”
Additionally, Zimmer said she “stand(s) by” her accusations that Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno threatened to withhold Sandy relief money, including funds to prevent future natural disasters, unless she backed a development project favored by Christie.
The Christie administration has vigorously denied the allegations, even calling them libelous.
“I kind of knew that there was going to be personal attacks on me and I’m not surprised, but I stand by what I said and I do appreciate that the U.S. Attorney’s office is taking this seriously and I definitely do not want to do anything that’s going to impede with that investigation,” Zimmer said after an event to unveil a plan to help protect Hoboken from future floods.
Zimmer met with federal prosecutors this week and said Thursday evening they “requested that I don’t talk about it anymore so I don’t impede their investigation.”
“I appreciate that they are taking this very seriously and they are seriously investigating it and I really appreciate that, but I really am not able to say anything more about that,” Zimmer said.
ABC’s Josh Margolin contributed to this report.