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Thursday, October 27, 2016

By Herb Jackson, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be a viable presidential candidate in 2016 if he can get the scandal over access-lane closures on the George Washington Bridge behind him, Donald Trump told a luncheon at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

“Chris is a friend of mine and he’s good guy, but he’s got to get his problem cleared up, there’s no question about it,” Trump said in response to a question about Christie and the 2016 presidential field.

“I’ve spoken to him about it and it was a crazy set of events that took place. … Certainly he’s been devastated by it,” Trump continued. “At some point it will come out. And many people are looking. And I made a statement, and I didn’t mean it as a negative statement about him: He’s one email away from having a big problem. That has to disappear. It has to go away. And then certainly, he’d be viable.”

Christie has been working to convince audiences, including one in Washington two weeks ago, that investigations have proven he had no involvement in the lane closures, which caused four days of gridlock, and that Democrats suspect were carried out to punish Fort Lee’s mayor for not endorsing Christie.

An investigative report by a New York City law firm hired by the state concluded that an aide to Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, and one of the governor’s appointees on the Port Authority, David Wildstein, were responsible for the lane closures and the governor knew nothing about the action. An investigation by a special committee of the Legislature continues, and the U.S. attorney’s office in Newark has empaneled a grand jury as well.

After commenting on Christie, Trump also defended his high-profile effort to get President Barack Obama to release his birth certificate, and said he still wants to see other documents, including Obama’s applications to college. He also said he would put in a bid to buy the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, and that NFL owners were impressed with the job he did decades ago in the now-defunct USFL, when Trump owned the New Jersey Generals.

In remarks at the luncheon before he took questions, Trump decried the nation’s failures in economics and foreign policy, saying governments in China and Russia are laughing at the United States.

He said he loves being a developer and bestowing his brand name on luxury projects, and doesn’t want to go into politics, but said he also loves the country more and if no one capable of the leadership needed steps forward, he would consider a 2016 presidential bid himself.

“I love this country and I hate to see what’s happening and if I don’t see the right person, I will do something in ’16, I will do it as sure as you’re sitting there,” Trump said.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

  • dmhlt_66

    I think the last – and probably ONLY – intelligent thing The Donald ever said was “I decided I’m not running for president.”
    He’s just a self-absorbed, self-promoting a$$hole.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Too bad for Trump, his opinions haven’t been viable since the 80s!

  • midway54

    It’s always so refreshing to see this clown with his pouty image and latest hairdo spouting his latest, unreliable blather. Browning’s observation (here excluding the special brogue in the original) applies to all of us but especially to the likes of Trump: Oh would what great gift the giftie give us to see ourselves as others see us.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Trump needs a new hair hat. The old one isn’t cutting it. First of all, those of us who live in NJ, rue the day Christie EVER became governor. He made a statement this past week about how “if” he becomes president his first act will be “tax reform.” Really? So how is it this buffoon has increased property taxes in his two terms?

    Then, he says he will reform Energy policies..Of course he will. He went to Calgary Alberta to discuss hockey? Or the way he and his GOP can suck the life out of NJ taxpayers so they can pay for offshore drilling we know is worse than Keystone. So we can pay for more spill cleanups, live with more oil tanker explosions and hand over more NJ water resourse to Galveston to refine that filthy tar sand oil.

    Yep..just what you want for president, a guy who has been out of his state one out of every 3 days rather than deal with NJ’s highest in the nation property taxes and the enormous cost of cleanup of pollution that comes from polluter states Christie is sucking up to.

    What next? School courses of study in drawling and swaggering? Pledging allegiance to the Stars and Bars?