Chris Christie Apologizes 20 Times for Bridge Scandal

The New Jersey governor fired aide and denies any personal involvement.
3:00 | 01/10/14

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Transcript for Chris Christie Apologizes 20 Times for Bridge Scandal
Now to the latest on new jersey governor chris christie and the fallout from the rapidly unfolding scandal for him and his administration. Christie apologizing repeatedly during an extended press conference on thursday. Abc's jim avila is in ft. Lee, new jersey, the site of the traffic jams that touched off this scandal. Good morning, jim. Reporter: Good morning, robin. For the normally bombastic chris christie it was a political walk of shame and perhaps more importantly, a template of blanket denial of any permanent involvement that will now be examined by everyone from the press corps to the feds. It was governor chris christie's worst day in politics ever and perhaps his most important. Forced to lower his voice and meekly visit the small town of ft. Lee to personally apologize to the mayor and its citizens. Mayor and I had a good, productive meeting. I accepted his apology. Reporter: That may have been the easy part because he had to fire two of his closest aides. I am embarrassed and humiliated. Reporter: Gone are deputy chief of staff bridget anne kelly and his political guru bill stepien. She was doomed by this e-mail, "time for some traffic problems in ft. Lee" after the mayor endorsed cnet's opponent. Four days of delays caused by political retribution that caused access to the george washington bridge. I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue in its planning or its execution and i am stunned by the abject stupidity. I am heartbroken. Reporter: To some it sound like he felt more pain and fired his aides because they weren't loyal to him rather than for their misconduct. Are you victim here? Regardless of what it is, they're gone. I never had to get to the conduct, underlying conduct. If you lie when I ask a question you're fired. Reporter: He insists his personal tile does not foster personal vengeance. I am who I am but I am not a bully. Reporter: The hard look at cnet's perhaps personal role, if any, will begin today when his democratic opponent are scheduled to release as many as 5,000 documents and e-mails about these lane closures. A lot more to come. Lots of legal and political fallout. Let's bring in dan abrams and matthew dowd. Watching that I thought he did as well as he could do in that forum. Reporter: Under the circumstances he did about as well as he could expect and why is this important, for most people governor christie was the preseason pick to be the likely republican candidate for president and that's why it was important. But on three scales, on tone, he was contrite and he was humble and that was good. On the actions, immediate actions and the firings of that, actually bri actually bridget kelly when in "the godfather" he says you broke my heart and he's gone. How almost two-hour length of it was a good thing because it sucked the oxygen out of the room. For all of those factors I think he did as well as could be expected. He seemed to exhaust the questions yesterday, but, dan abrams, they are not over. You have this u.S. Attorney launching a preliminary inquiry. Yeah, well, that's basically him saying, I know this is a big deal, I know everyone wants an investigation here and we're going to have one. But when you think about what the potential federal crimes could be, it gets a lot tougher. Now, before 2010 they might have had something which is called an honest services statute meaning there was something that demanded that public officials engage in honest services. The supreme court truck that down saying unless there's money or kickbacks involved, then there's no federal crime. But even without a federal crime you have class action lawsuits right now. You have an inspector general's investigation. The last thing you want is investigations, particularly investigations where there's the power to subpoena document, et cetera, because that can elicit more embarrassing political information. That's their greater concern is that the legal investigations will lead to embarrassing political information. Also all the subpoenas kind of freeze up the government. The class action lawsuit is a real long shot when you're talking about state officials engaging in official state duties. Matthew, what's the key to his political recovery. I think right now he's hostage to the truth. He's hostage to the statements yesterday and I think if he continues to be open, transparent and humble, if the facts support what he said yesterday he'll be okay. I actually believe if he gets through this and everything he said yesterday turns out to be true he could actually benefit from this because as you and i know most people and most politicians succeed have to have gone through serious adversity, overcome it and get to another level. If he's able to do that and still days and weeks ahead where we'll learn more, if he's able to go that he could be better off because of that adversity than he was before. Not politically failed by any means. Thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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