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Reporter Eric Scott on NJ's Chris Christie

Feb 2, 2014|

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And for most of the program today we're going to be talking about Donald Trump in town for big Erie county Republican Party fund raiser on Friday. A lot about trump and the gamble a little bit about Chris Christie. But to actually came together on Friday. During Trump's speech he spoke about the latest news coming out of New Jersey involving one of the loyalists they used to work with the governor. Can you hear about the news Chris Christie. And -- being like here's a rat to start off -- but he just turned out to be a serious threat because he just read an out Chris Christie. And that's a big story I -- that is as Republicans that's a big story. Let's talk about the big stories bring -- own Eric's got this year he's a former newsman WB and these days the host of the state -- asked the governor program with Chris Christie on several stations across New Jersey. Eric thanks for joining us what the heck with trump talking about there. They've had the pleasure to be with you. Yeah he's talking about David -- -- who was the central figure in the British gate scandal there was a -- Letter released from his attorney -- -- just. That seemed to indicate that Governor Christie may have known about the lane closures. Prior to when he said he did. It's interesting in that letter though -- is what's not in there. Which is the the application that there is hard evidence that the governor was why somebody in this whole thing is not telling the truth or divert stretching the truth. And really it's gonna be some time before we really know who that is what the truth is different but really -- if we were now. How did this letter come out because I can picture. Skeptics wondering about the timing normally this would be a weekend where Chris Christie would get to say. Great state wonderful Super Bowl how great things are but instead now he has to address this -- -- released in and you think there's politics there. Well I certainly think there's a fair amount of politics here is the timing suspect well it depends on what the motivations of David Weinstein. All one of those motivations he has been floating out an offer of immunity bolt to the legislative panel that is investigating bridge case. And to the United States attorney who has begun an inquiry into the matter. And what we started hearing whispers and rumors. Late this week was that. Bridget and Kelly the former deputy chief of staff who. The order to while staying too. Because traffic tie -- -- Fort -- that she's angling for her own. -- of this may be an opportunity for a while staying -- while teams where albums he uses a very accomplished. Criminal defense attorney. To kind of dangled that carrot in front of the US attorneys saying no no no. We have a better story to help give our community first. Before you give it to burgeoning -- If he gets the immunity. Does that mean that the US attorney is looking at this and says say there might be some evidence worthy of giving them immunity. Well you know you gotta park your words here and get a read what -- you know what what is. US attorney has said the US attorney has not indicated. That he has launched an investigation -- started inquiry and in legal circles such. That's very important and they're very different things so the US attorney is kind of a fact finding mode right now. To try and determine whether or not there it is the Specter of criminality and there's certainly hasn't been any indication of that yet in public. We do know that the US attorney has issued subpoenas to. The governor's campaign. Not directly to the governor's office. And again in a fact finding mission to determine what the next steps are the other theory is with somebody like David Wild -- because he's kind of wild card in this whole thing and one of the reasons -- legislative panel will not grant him immunity. Because at that point once he's granted immunity from prosecution he can say whatever he wants to say he can walk in there and say well I really didn't know anything and yes it was all on me. And I'm the sole figure here and then that the and other so we've already heard from the senate president in New Jersey that he will not be granted immunity. And the US attorney may be -- be reluctant to do the same. Unless wild scene or Bridget and Kelly or anybody else involved in this is willing to show their hand and say look this is what I got I would give this to you. This is the evidence I can produce if you grant immunity and to date as far as we know nobody's done that including -- A lot of the discussion on the national stage obviously looks at his Chris Christie is presidential aspirations. You've been in that state for how many years now do you think he's damaged what do the people on the ground in New Jersey -- Well he's damage from a couple of perspectives -- album -- within the Republican Party. He's still very strong candidate but when he had his historic reelection victory this past November. The thing that made him an attractive candidate nationally is he wanted to democratic state in a way that Republicans typically don't win. With huge numbers among African American voters with huge numbers among Latinos with huge numbers among independent voters were. A pretty substantial number one even Democrats. So his Republican popularity in this state has continued to be relatively high. But where he's lost is in -- -- those other voting groups in the minority voting groups. In the independence and certainly among Democrats took his broad appeal. That he came into his second term where it has started to have -- you and I've been covering politics long enough. David you'd there's three lifetimes between now and where and you know he would he would have to announce for the for the presidential nomination so. Much can change. I've been covering you know the state for twenty plus years I've been covering Chris Christie for. You know ten of those years and that you you'd have the one thing you learn very quickly you don't ever underestimate him. His political acumen or his ability to rehabilitate his image. And present the image that he would like you to see. If this blows over if there is really no smoking gun if it turns out that they can't really hang this around his back that the that this solid line can be drawn to him personally. Then there is a possibility he can rehabilitate their gimmick but you know it looks like it ourselves to be difficult for him to do that. You sit down with him on Monday for them latest in your series of asked the governor programs. What's your first question -- What I think the first question is going to be -- -- the Super Bowl and that we get out -- we get out of that the next question is going to be. What did you know when when did you know what do I think he's gonna answer that question no I don't. But I think we have to have scared and I think we have to probe a little bit deeper to find out what the real time Linus. You know this is going to be a difficult interview because he is also an accomplished attorney he's a former United States attorney in New Jersey you know how this game is played. And I suspect that a lot of those answers will focus on I can't comment on that right now because it's the subject of an inquiry. And a legislative investigation but there are other things that we can kind of probe around corners and I don't wanna give a lot of out of play but there are some doubles every program on the corners and trying to get to. In some of those some of the side issues that may shed some light on this process. Talk to me a little bit about the Super Bowl obviously. Rutherford New Jersey. Is it. I heard a report from CBS earlier this week that said New York City proper. Isn't excited because it's a big city they've got a lot of other things going on it is kind of removed from the downtown core. How is it being seen in New Jersey is there a buzz is there an excitement or is it just another event in metro New York. Well it's really didn't -- as there's more of a headache than anything else and it seems like the NFL has gone absolutely out of its way. To make this the most difficult Super Bowl to attend I think in league history. There's no tailgating in the parking lot you can't take a cab you can't pick a limo there you can't be dropped off and walked into the stadium. You know getting married is in some cases a three hour ordeal. Luxury inside in all of the other NFL security policies are in effect you can't bring your purse you can't bring. You know personal affection to him into the game. And what we saw this past week is. Many of the tourism dollars that New Jersey was anticipating from this event have been spent on the other side of the Hudson River. A lot of talent in and around the meadowlands where the stadium is who were planning big kick off weekend's big celebrations. -- music. It appeared tense a lot of food vendors. Lot of those plans were canceled this past week. Because -- NFL didn't give them much support in -- They couldn't get enough vendors so New Jersey was concerned that we're going to be stuck -- a huge bill for all the infrastructure improvements and all the other marketing. Cost and everything else that we insecurity and everything else we have to provide for this game and we won't see a real economic benefit. At a time in the state continues to struggle economically. Let's tobacco governor for second has he addressed that issue has he said that it's a win for his state. Or has he may be tiptoed around it and into that what you just said. Well he has really made any comments about that specifically and that's certainly something that we're gonna talk to him about Monday night as well. You know this is this is good for new Jersey's image. And that's what he's really focused on is that this is good for the State's image. We won't really know probably for another month or so what the true economic impact was positive or negative. But if you listened to a lot of the mayors of the towns in and around where this stadium is located. They're not very optimistic. I you know I tried for several hours on Friday -- and for much of the day yesterday. To set up segments coming up with a political reporter in Seattle and a political reporter in Denver. Time zones being what they are they show being on the air when it is. I couldn't make that happen and I know what they would say obviously the guy from Denver wants Denver but got from Seattle wants Seattle. Your more of a neutral who will win today. Well you know what my loyalties lie oh yeah I have made diehard Buffalo Bills fan that was -- eleventh commandment in our house grown up in Springfield New York as usual water no other team. From abroad as it pure football -- I have to give the edge to it to Peyton Manning and frankly than his media day he was the most entertaining always is. And from will be into the little interaction we've had with the players. Seattle seems a lot more tight. That and then Denver walking into this game so I'm gonna actually go -- the governor on this one and and and I like Denver. Governor wants extended by three I like Denver by itself. All right Erica thanks for joining this morning good stuff pledged to make it. That's Eric's got spring -- own -- got former WBN -- -- these days the host of the asked the governor program with Chris Christie on several stations across New Jersey.