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January 12, 2018

Tune in This Weekend: “On the Record: The Christie Exit Interview”

Before leaving office, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sat down with NJTV News Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron for his final exit interview for a special edition of On the Record with Michael Aron.

The hour-long interview, which was taped at Drumthwacket in Princeton, the official residence of the governor of New Jersey and a historic landmark, covered an array of topics related to the Governor’s career accomplishments and controversies in his eight years in office.

Governor Christie tells Aron that he leaves office with few regrets and has learned to not pay attention to polls in this stage of his career.  He says that his governing style created “a culture of service”.  When it comes to high-profile conflicts that surfaced in the media with organizations and individuals throughout his two terms he says  “I picked fights with people who were going to pick fights with me…why shouldn’t I go first?”

Among his greatest accomplishments, he includes pension reform, jobs, and Superstorm Sandy recovery.  He details the political compromises (and occasional “ginning up”) that were necessary to get his agenda passed, citing examples of the public battle with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield over opioid addiction funding and the Rutgers-Camden/Rowan merger.  He also discusses the decisions he needed to make not just a governor, but also as a father and husband (taking his family to Island Beach State Park during this summer’s state shutdown, for example).

As for the well-documented “Bridgegate” controversy involving lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, he says the story gained traction with the national press because “I was a front-runner for President”  and that the press didn’t get the story “straight”. He also discussed his theory on who’s to blame for the lane closures and said the two administration allies formally convicted for involvement in the case, Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, do not deserve jail time.

On the topic of his presidential run, he admits that his “lane” in the candidate field was being someone that plainly spoke his mind.  When Aron asks him if Trump blocked that lane, Christie says, “He didn’t block the lane.  He owned the lane”.

As for adjusting to civilian life, Christie admits it will be “weird to not be in the scrum” but he’s ready to consider “a buffet of options” and looks forward to going on dates with his wife, Mary Pat, without a security detail in tow and driving himself, although he notes “I haven’t parked myself in eight years”.

On the Record: The Christie Exit Interview will air Saturday, January 13 at 6pm and Sunday, January 14 at 10am on NJTV.

The interview will also air in prime-time on Monday, January 15 at 8pm and again on Tuesday, January 16 at 11am.

On Tuesday, January 16 at 12pm NJTV will offer coverage of the Inauguration of Governor-Elect Phil Murphy. The inauguration will be live-streamed and will be re-airing in prime-time at 8pm that same night.

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