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Bridgegate’s Public Relations Battle [AUDIO]

Gov. Chris Christie hasn’t been directly linked to the Bridgegate scandal, but one political expert thinks Democrats are winning in the court of public opinion and in the world of politics.

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Gov. Chris Christie Addresses The Fort Lee George Washington Bridge Scandal
Andrew Burton, Getty Images

“The Democrats have won in the sense that they brought Christie’s poll numbers down to levels where New Jersey governors typically have poll numbers and that’s under 50 percent,” said Peter Woolley, a political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “They’ve done their work and the longer they keep it alive the better it is for them, but they’ve already really won.”

The New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation, a Democrat-controlled body, that’s been probing Bridgegate for months was scheduled to hear testimony from Port Authority of New York and New Jersey director Patrick Foye on Tuesday, but Foye cancelled his appearance at the request of U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

Woolley said the cancellation is not necessarily a defeat for the Democrats.

“The Democrats have already won,” Woolley said. “They don’t have to be right. It doesn’t have to go anywhere further. This is like a guerrilla war. You don’t have to defeat the regular army. You just have to not lose.”

But Woolley cautions that Christie should never be considered down and out, especially since politics is unpredictable and lesser figures have come back from worse controversies.

In September, access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were closed without warning in Fort Lee, causing traffic delays for four days. Democrats believe it was done as political payback because the town’s Democratic mayor refused to endorse Christie’s re-election bid.

Christie has denied any involvement and an internal probe he commissioned cleared him of any wrong doing. Christie cut ties with his two-time campaign manager and directed the firing of one of his deputy chiefs of staff. Two Port Authority officials also resigned after the scandal unfolded.


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