The ongoing George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal may be following New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as he travels around the country serving as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, but it does not seem to have hurt his fundraising prowess.
The same day the RGA reported a hefty haul thanks to Christie, an RGA aide tells ABC News they raised $1 million today at fundraisers in Chicago.
Christie held one-on-one fundraising meetings as well as headlining a dinner.
This morning the RGA reported it has raised $6 million with the help of Christie and other GOP governors, more than twice as much as it has ever raised during the same month.
Christie’s trip last week to Texas raised $1.5 million and he has other fundraising stops in Massachusetts, Utah, Georgia, Connecticut and Michigan on his schedule.
It was reported over the weekend that none of the GOP candidates running for Illinois governor would be attending the fundraisers today, but a Christie aide said that is not correct and they expected some to attend.
Also today, Christie headlined an event at the Economic Club of Chicago where he participated in a conversation moderated by Greg Brown, CEO of Motorola Solutions and his appointed vice chair of the Rutgers Board of Governors. He said the scandal will not affect his ability to execute his second-term priorities and promised that his administration’s internal review will be released to the public.
“[S]ome people who worked for me made some significant mistakes in judgment, and when you are the leader of that organization … the first thing that happens to you, happened to me, was extraordinary disappointment,” Christie said. “But you only have a few minutes to wallow in that disappointment and then if you are a leader you have to try and get a handle on the story and take decisive action, which we did by letting people go and talking to the public about it.”
The administration is in the “midst of an internal review,” he said, promising to “release to the public” whatever the “internal review discloses.”
“If there is more action that needs to be taken I’ll take it,” Christie pledged. “But, I don’t think it will curtail for the long haul a second-term agenda because I think the public in New Jersey won’t tolerate it. The fact is they expect me and the legislature to continue to do what we did in the first four years, which is to find solutions to New Jersey’s problems and get things done.”
Christie came under fire last month when emails were released indicating local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, the country’s busiest span, were closed for political retribution against a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Christie.
On Thursday he will hold his first town hall since the scandal exploded after the emails became public. It is Christie’s 110th town hall and he will focus on the state’s continued recovery since 2012′s Superstorm Sandy. He will then travel to Washington, D.C., for the annual New Jersey Chamber of Commerce trip, where he will address members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation and business community.