TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave a wide ranging State of the State address Tuesday, but started his remarks by addressing the scandal that has rocked his office over the last week. The Republican governor acknowledged that “Bridgegate” has “certainly tested” his administration.
“We let down the people we are entrusted to serve,” Christie said in a speech aimed at the two houses of the state legislature as well as his constituents in the Garden State. “I know our citizens deserve better. Much better. I am the governor and I am ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch — both good and bad.”
It was a different moment — and a different mood — than just a few days ago. On Tuesday, Christie was greeted by extended applause from elected officials and guests and promised to “cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to ensure this breach of trust does not happen again.” Last week, he was greeted by a mostly silent press corps. On Tuesday, at the formal event at the State Capitol, he answered no questions. Last week he took dozens of them.
Here’s a look at the two Chris Christie’s — the governor who stood behind a podium on Tuesday to outline his vision for the future of his state and the potential 2016 presidential contender who last week held a nearly two-hour press conference to protect his political hide.
|THE PRESS CONFERENCE||THE STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS|
|1 hour, 47 minutes||HOW LONG HE SPOKE||45 minutes|
|25||TIMES HE USED THE WORDS “SORRY” OR “APOLOGIZE”||0|
|The governor’s outer office||WHERE HE SPOKE||State Assembly chamber|
|“I’m sad. I’m sad. That’s the predominant emotion I feel right now is sadness, sadness that I was betrayed by a member of my staff, sadness that I had people who I entrusted with important jobs who acted completely inappropriately, sad that that’s led the people of New Jersey to have less confidence in the people that I’ve selected.”||WHAT HE SAID ABOUT THE SCANDAL||“The last week has certainly tested this Administration. Mistakes were clearly made. And as a result, we let down the people we are entrusted to serve. I know our citizens deserve better. Much better. I am the governor, and I am ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch — both good and bad.”|
|6||TIMES HE SAID, “I’M RESPONSIBLE”||1|
|1||TIMES HE REFERENCED, “WORKING TOGETHER” WITH DEMOCRATS||1|
|“Mistakes were clearly made. And as a result, we let down the people we are entrusted to serve.”||HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE?||“The fact is that mistakes were made, and I’m responsible for those mistakes.”|
|0||TIMES HE TALKED ABOUT PROPERTY TAXES||12|
|3||TIMES HE PLEDGED TO “COOPERATE” WITH ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS||1|