Let Me Start: Christie’s fight for a political future

Updated

Hardball with Chris Matthews, 2/3/14, 7:52 PM ET

Christie answers questions on bridge scandal

Chris Christie answered questions live on a New Jersey radio station on Monday night–the first time he’s discussed the traffic scandal since his January…
‘UNEQUOVICALLY NO’: Gov. Chris Christie took questions on a live radio show Monday night, and stuck to his script: “I had nothing to do with this,” he said of the bridge scandal that’s been dominating New Jersey news for more than a month. “No knowledge, no authorization, no planning, nothing.” 

Meanwhile, fired staffer Bridget Kelly took the Fifth on Monday–just another member of Christie’s ‘inner circle’ to do so. A letter from Kelly’s lawyer argued that “unfettered access to, among other things, Ms. Kelly’s personal diaries, calendars and all of her electronic devices amounts to an inappropriate and unlimited invasion of Ms. Kelly’s personal privacy and would also potentially reveal highly personal confidential communications completely unrelated to the reassignment of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.”

PUSH BACK AND FIGHT: Christie is now in a major fight to save his political future. Later this month, the governor will speak at a National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) retreat in D.C., and in March, he’ll speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)–which snubbed him last year–and the American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum in Georgia.

OBAMA DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: Republicans are continuing to tear at President Obama’s position on Benghazi. “It’s just an outrageous lie, it is kind of hard to call it anything else. It’s kind of like Obamacare,” Sen. Jim Inhofe told KFAQ, a local Oklahoma radio station. “He has to come up and say something and blame someone else.” Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News that Obama was “still misleading us,” and Bill O’Reilly defended his questions to the president during their sit-down, which included questions about Benghazi, by saying that Obama “doesn’t belive that the stories and questions that I brought up…he doesn’t believe that they’re that important.” What is it about this president that some are so determined to see fail? 

SOUND THE ALARM: Is Hillary Clinton getting too far out front in the 2016 race? According to a new BuzzFeed article, top aides and advisers to President Obama are saying “yes.” Top White House pollster Joel Benenson is quoted in the article as saying, “I just don’t see any strategic value in stories positioning her as inevitable or the preemptive nominee, and I don’t think people who are out there talking about this help her, and I think she should make that clear.” Other advisers are suggesting that if the 2016 chatter keeps up, it could endanger Clinton’s chances at even securing the nomination. But with other potential Democratic contenders waiting in the wings, could it be possible that we’ll see a contentious battle for the nomination in 2016? Or will the party rally behind Clinton the way many hoped it would in the past? 

IN OTHER NEWS…

Explore:

Hardball - Let Me Start

Let Me Start: Christie's fight for a political future

Updated