Governor Chris Christie touts accomplishments, bids NJ farewell in final address

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Governor Chris Christie touts accomplishments, bids NJ farewell in final address

Chris Christie delivered his eighth and final state of the state address Tuesday.

The last Rutgers-Eagleton Poll of Gov. Chris Christie's time in office finds that he will depart as the most disapproved and disliked outgoing governor since the poll began nearly 50 years ago.

In his interview with NJ.com, Christie lamented how Bridgegate altered his political future by casting a dark cloud of suspicion over his head.

And, as if to underscore how hard it can be to remember politics in New Jersey before Christie's rise, he traced the arc of his political career back to his tenure as US attorney - for which he was nominated by President George W. Bush - to his chairing of President Donald Trump's opioid commission.

He concedes that scandal over closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge changed the course of his administration and political career because he lost "the benefit of the doubt".

The book relies on extensive interviews with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who shockingly questions the president's competence and who describes a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer as "treasonous" and "unpatriotic". "But that's what it did".

"This did not have to be Gov. Christie's legacy", Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, said in a prepared statement.

Christie dropped out following a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary and low poll numbers nationwide.

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The book says Trump may not have run for president at all had Christie not stepped into the mire of the Bridgegate scandal, which resulted in three of his top officials convicted of federal charges. "The issues you're talking about are exciting".

William Palatucci, a member of the Republican National Committee from New Jersey and longtime Christie adviser, said Mr. Christie is still hashing out what comes next and that he has been approached with various opportunities. He's so direct, he's so blunt.

Christie is the first Garden State governor to give eight State of the State addresses in almost 30 years.

"Are there things that I would have done differently?"

"We are handing off a state that is growing and a budget that is balanced", Christie said.

"After seven years as USA attorney, I didn't need to seem to be tough on crime; I am tough on crime", Christie said, but went on to talk about the importance of second chances underlying the bail reform effort. I don't have any major regrets.

He said he vetoed more than $7 billion in spending, helped cut the state workforce, pushed through a cap on property tax increases and, at the same time, made sure the state invested heavily to help protect the New Jersey Shore from the kind of devastation it suffered during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

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