FOLLOW THE TRAIL: In case you missed this on Up, our colleague Steve Kornacki reported a new branch of the Gov. Chris Christie investigation this past weekend:
On Sunday, the Port Authority’s executive director Pat Foye issued an investigation into the new report that a Port Authority police officer, with personal ties to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, was at the George Washington Bridge when access lanes were closed last September. A new paper trail indicates the offer drove David Wildstein, the Christie appointee who supervised the closings, on a tour of the area as traffic brought it to a standstill.
Why is this significant? Because the new report would put another person with close ties to the governor at the scene of the traffic surge. A probe has been ordered to investigate the officer's role in the George Washington Bridge land closures, and could spell even more trouble for the already-embattled Christie administration.
On Monday, the Christie administration responded to the new reports in a statement: "The Governor has never had any conversations with either Jeff or Chip Michaels on this topic."
FAIR GAME?: If you're talking about Hillary Clinton in the political world these days, it seems impossible to avoid the topic of her husband's past. But is Bill Clinton fair game? Former GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is saying "no," but not all of his Republican colleagues feel the same. As we reported last week on Hardball, Sen. Rand Paul can't get enough of bringing up the past. Is there a purpose behind Paul's attacks? It all comes down to one major reason: 2016.
#WINNING?: Like it or not, Sen. Ted Cruz is winning. The freshman senator is still riding high after last fall's government shutdown, standing as a symbol for the anti-Obamacare movement--and it's a ladder he's continuing to climb as the party struggles to land on the same page ahead of this year's midterm elections. Will Cruz be the uniting factor in the GOP's hopes to take control of the Senate? Or will he serve to further divide an already-divided party?
If former GOP congressman Steve LaTourette has anything to say about the topic (and he indeed had a lot to say about it last Friday on Hardball), he and other "establishment" Republicans would like Cruz to kindly step aside...
IN OTHER NEWS...
- QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The more we mess around with this denial, the less we're going to get done." -Bill Nye, debating Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn on Meet the Press about climate change
- OOPS OF THE DAY: Has the GOP messed up its own Obamacare attack? (According to this Talking Points Memo report: yes, they have.)
- NUMBER OF THE DAY: 4--that's how many days a jury deliberated over the charges against Michael Dunn, the Florida man who was on trial for shooting at a car full of teenagers, killing one, in 2012. The jury on Saturday delivered their verdict: guilty of three counts of attempted murder in the second degree and one count of firing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle. The jury was deadlocked on Dunn's first-degree murder charge, prompting a mistrial.