Nightly News   |  January 14, 2014

Christie: ‘We Let Down’ New Jersey

During his State of the State speech Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie denied knowledge of an intentional plan to snarl bridge traffic in September.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> new jersey governor chris christie gave his state of the state address today, while the state of his administration is engulfed. his political future is in peril, the investigation into the intentional traffic jam on the george washington bridge are just getting started. and he talked about the troubles again today. kelly o'donnell has our report from trenton.

>> reporter: on his way to the assembly chamber, governor chris christie prepared himself for another public display of regret. while tradition welcomed the governor with applause, controversy is where christie began.

>> mistakes were clearly made. and as a result, we let down the people we're entrusted to serve. i know our citizens deserve better. much better.

>> the unfolding scandal has brought ridicule and criticism. today christie faced the state lawmakers who have launched investigations.

>> without a doubt, we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to ensure that this breach of trust does not happen again. let me tell you everybody, i was blindsided yesterday morning.

>> reporter: governor christie denied any prior knowledge to an intentional plan to snarl bridge traffic last september. how close to christie were the people who did know. an examination of documents shows at least six people in christie 's inner circle . and at least three more at the port authority were actively messaging last fall about the traffic jam . but not necessarily what had caused it. four of the key players are gone, the others are still on the job.

>> what has occurred does not define us or our state.

>> reporter: christie 's personal credibility has taken a hit. a monmouth university / asbury park poll asked do you believe chris christie has been completely honest? 40% said yes, but 51% said no.

>> governor, was that enough to restore your credibility?

>> reporter: the governor took no questions after his speech, which focused on his second term agenda. and even democrats said, this investigation is not their only priority.

>> this will play itself out, but the truth of the matter is, there are many other things we have to tackle.

>> the next step in the investigation comes thursday, when a committee is expected to issue subpoenas. aides say christie will get back to a more normal public schedule around new jersey to promote ideas he outlined today. and he'll keep his fund-raising trip in florida this weekend.

>> kelly o'donnell, covering the state of the state of new jersey. kelly , thanks.