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Phil Matier: Will Bridge Traffic Jams Snarl NJ Gov. Christie’s Presidential Hopes?

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.  (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

PhilMatier01-370 Phil Matier
Whether it's politics, personalities or analysis Phil Matier is one ...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — More internal documents were expected Friday regarding the traffic scandal involving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration.

Christie, the GOP presidential hopeful, held a news conference on Thursday to respond to reports that one of his top aides orchestrated traffic jams in Fort Lee because the mayor there didn’t endorse his re-election.

“I’ve never met a ‘rouge staffer’ in my life,” former State Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said.

No stranger to the harsh world of politics, Brown is not completely surprised.

“This is not new. In Louisiana that was a way in which they would do business. You would pave the roadway up to the parish that voted against me and you would start on the other side before you finish the roadwork—that’s just the way it was done,” he said.

Brown calls orchestrating the a traffic jam, however, unprecedented.

But the lesson here is that the wrong target was chosen. If you want to make a hit, you target the politician—in this instance, the mayor—not the city.

So how will Christie come out of this?

Brown said Christie has fostered a reputation of dealing with people as if he was fighting back on the mean streets and people are fascinated by that.

“Obviously his staff believes that is perfectly alright to take it to the ultimate level,” he said.

“No apology by Christie can undue the fact that he created the environment that bred this conduct.”

What also may be unprecedented is Christie’s press conference.

When was the last time a press conference was carried live on cable news for an hour and 47 minutes?

The world is certainly interested in this governor.

(Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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