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Chris Christie's Credibility On The Line Amid Bridge Scandal

Pundits and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are questioning what the New Jersey governor knew and when he knew it.
Posted at 4:25 PM, Jan 12, 2014

It's been a few days since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters he had nothing to hide. 

"I knew nothing about this." (Via KPNX

More than enough time for pundits to come up with their own theories as to what Christie knew and when. (Via CBS)

Many reports have said lane closures were political payback aimed at the mayor of Fort Lee, who wouldn't endorse Christie in his re-election bid this fall. (Via Slate

That mayor says he believes Christie knew nothing about it.

MARK SOKOLICH: "I take him for his word." (Via NBC)

But MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has offered another theory — that Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was never the actual target.

Instead, it might have been state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, who represents Fort Lee. She had spearheaded a fight against one of Christie's judicial nominees. And the governor was none too pleased with her in a news conference just 24 hours before the traffic jams started. (Via YouTube / NJSenDems, Office of Gov. Chris Christie

WEINBERG: "It is very difficult for me to believe — having appeared at several Port Authority meetings over the last four months — that the governor suddenly realized yesterday this was a really big deal." (Via MSNBC)

So far, four Christie administration officials have been linked to the politically motivated bridge closings, leaving some pundits to question how it was possible the second-term governor was ever left in the dark.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews tweeted: "To believe Christie you must believe he saw no evil, heard no evil, spoke no evil for the entire 5 months of this matter."

And on the other side of the aisle, Roger Stone, a longtime Republican political operative, put it this way: "Nothing happens in control-freak Christie's world he doesn't allow it." (Via Twitter / @RogerJStoneJr)

As Politico notes, much of the skepticism has centered on why Christie, a former prosecutor, never ordered an internal review at the first hint the closings might have been politically motivated.

Still, others say it's hard to imagine Christie — a possible 2016 contender — would dare to lie so publicly about such a thing. (Via CNN

RUDY GIULIANI: "He says he didn't know. I think it's pretty darn credible. He wouldn't make this blanket denial unless it's not true." (Via ABC)

A recent poll found more than half of likely New Jersey voters believe Chris Christie knew about his aides' bridge plan, and about as many said he should resign if that turns out to be the case. (Via NJ.com)