New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, facing investigations over a traffic snarl-up and the use of
federal money for an ad campaign, will likely try to shift attention back to his second-term agenda when he gives a key speech on Tuesday.
Christie, a charismatic conservative and an early favorite in the upcoming Republican race for the White House in 2016, was re-elected in a landslide victory last November. But a pair of scandals coming in the first weeks of the year have put him on the defensive.
Two sets of emails last week appeared to show that Christie’s aides had orchestrated lane closures last September in a stretch of highway leading to the George Washington Bridge, which spans New Jersey and Manhattan, and lied about it.
Christie has denied any knowledge of a scheme to snarl traffic to wreak political payback against the Democratic mayor of the city of Fort Lee, New Jersey, and said there is nothing in the emails to suggest he had any direct knowledge of it.
While Christie is likely to use his State of the State speech to address these challenges, he is also expected to tout his accomplishments and set out priorities for the year.