More than two-thirds of New Jerseyans say Gov. Christie has not been completely honest about his knowledge of the George Washington Bridge scandal, and a majority think he knew about the September 2013 lane closures while they were underway, according to a new poll.
The Monmouth University poll – the first taken since the announcement Friday of indictments against two former Christie allies and a guilty plea by a third in the lane-closure scandal – found Christie’s job approval rating fell 12 points in three months among New Jersey registered voters, with 35 percent approving of the Republican governor’s job performance and 56 percent disapproving.
The net job rating is an all-time low in the poll for Christie, whose approval rating peaked at 70 percent in early 2013 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
A court hearing will be held this morning on a criminal matter related to the George Washington Bridge lane closures, following a more than 15-month investigation by federal prosecutors into the scandal.
U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman will hold a press conference this afternoon on developments related to the lane closures. The office didn't provide further details this morning.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that a central figure in the scandal, former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official David Wildstein, was set to plead guilty.
Gov. Christie is continuing his travels as he considers a 2016 presidential campaign, with an fundraiser scheduled in Washington today at the BGR Group, a lobbying firm founded by former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.
The event for Christie’s political action committee is being hosted by the New Jersey Republican Congressional delegation, according to a spokeswoman for the committee.
BGR Public Relations President Jeffrey Birnbaum noted that the firm, while “proud to play host” to the fundraiser, had also been the site of a fundraiser for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s political action committee. Birnbaum said that Barbour, a former Republican National Committee chairman and Republican Governors Association chairman, had not endorsed Christie, or any candidate.
Gov. Christie dug into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s with Jimmy Fallon while weathering a barrage of jokes about his weight and brash demeanor in an amiable late-night television appearance Wednesday.
Kicking back with NBC’s “The Tonight Show” host like old friends, the Republican governor didn’t make any news about his potential presidential bid, reiterating he would announce a decision by “May or June.”
Instead, Christie played along with Fallon’s ribbing, including about his weight. After Fallon played a clip from a recent town-hall meeting with a young girl asking Christie what his favorite dessert was – the answer was ice cream – Fallon brought out a carton of Ben and Jerry’s “The Tonight Dough.” The governor grabbed the pint before Fallon could dip a spoon in.
A New Jersey ally of Gov. Christie’s has thrown his support to a Republican rival expected to run for president in 2016.
Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R., Monmouth), who chaired Christie’s 2009 gubernatorial campaign, is supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Bush spokesman Tim Miller confirmed Tuesday.
Miller also said Kyrillos made a $10,000 donation to Bush’s super PAC. Kyrillos’ support of Bush was first reported Monday by the Washington Post.
More than half of New Jersey voters disapprove of Gov. Christie’s job performance, an approval rating that marks an all-time low, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
According to the poll, 56 percent of the state’s voters disapprove of Christie’s job performance, while 38 percent approve. In several polls between August 2014 and January, Christie’s approval rating ranged from 46 to 49 percent, while his disapproval rating was below 50 percent.
Nearly two-thirds of New Jersey voters surveyed by the poll released Monday – 65 percent – also say Christie would not make a good president, compared to 29 percent who said he would.
While in New Hampshire seeking to boost his presidential prospects, Gov. Christie said Friday that he did not consider himself wealthy.
“No, I don’t,” he told a reporter. The remarks were broadcast and posted online by NJ.com. “I don’t consider myself a wealthy man. Wealth is defined in a whole bunch of different ways.”
Christie and his wife, Mary Pat Christie, reported $698,838 in income in 2013. About $475,000 of that income came from Angelo, Gordon & Co., an investment firm where Mary Pat Christie is a managing director.
Gov. Christie covered broad ground over the last two days in New Hampshire, where he attacked prospective rivals, promised to focus on policy ideas, and name-dropped famous friends. Some of the recurring themes from his effort this week to gain traction in the presidential race:
Targeting rivals: Christie wasn’t combative during his first New Hampshire town-hall meeting, but he criticized Republican opponents this week, including in a round of interviews with local and national media. When conservative radio host Laura Ingraham asked him Wednesday about “the Bush approach to foreign policy and domestic policy,” Christie said: “I’d like to see what Jeb Bush has to say about these things. He’s certainly got a father and brother who have a record.”
He added that “the one speech” the former Florida governor had “given so far, I thought was rather general.”