The gloves are officially off.
Late Saturday, Gov. Chris Christie mounted a blistering attack on the credibility of the New York Times and the disgraced director of interstate capital projects at the Port Authority, David Wildstein.
In an email to his supporters, with the subject line "5 Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That’s Not A Bombshell," Christie attacks Wildstein's character all the way back to when he was a 16-year-old and ends the email with this:
"Bottom line -- David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein."
From the email:
. In David Wildstein’s past, people and newspaper accounts have described him as “tumultuous” and someone who “made moves that were not productive.”swampland.time.com
· As a 16-year-old kid, he sued over a local school board election.
· He was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.
· He had a controversial tenure as Mayor of Livingston
· He was an anonymous blogger known as Wally Edge
· He had a strange habit of registering web addresses for other people’s names without telling them[...]
· Robert Leopold, Livingston’s former Democratic Mayor: Wildstein Was “A Political Animal” Who “Frightened People.” (Shawn Boburg, “Ex-Blogger Is Governor Christie’s Eyes, Ears Inside The Port Authority,” Bergen Record, 3/3/12)
In the email, Christie still insists that he did not know "anything" about the Fort Lee lane closures, now known as Bridgegate, despite the claims from David Wildstein's lawyer that "evidence exists...tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference."
Today we learned the Governor who won 60-39 percent over his Democratic challenger has had a dramatic reversal of public opinion and is now being booed at public events.
Christie finds himself at a pivotal mid-scandal moment.
Does he go humble or does he go ballistic? Christie has chosen to do the latter and throw everyone under a bus who refutes his righteously indignant denials.
He is choosing to stick to his guns about being ignorant about the misdeeds of the staff that he hired. He is choosing to huff and puff about the callousness and stupidity of the staff that he hired. He is choosing to insist that every bombshell and shoe that drops is neither a shoe nor a bomb and that everyone is only looking out for themselves.
Like his time as governor, it will be entertaining to see how long that lasts.
6:55 PM PT: The story behind David Wildstein's hiring:
"A former Port Authority employee told CNN that agency officials were told in 2010 they had to find a place for Wildstein at the executive level and the directive was coming from Christie's office. Soon after, the position was created specifically for Wildstein. When Wildstein started, Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, Christie's top appointee at the agency, introduced him to people as a good friend of the governor."
7:28 PM PT: Idle speculation: Why go back to the high school record of a 16-year-old David Wildstein rather than focus on present accusations? I think Gov. Christie wanted to send a message to Wildstein and all comers about the level of detail his opposition research team is capable of. He probably didn't put everything he knows in this email but he likely wanted Wildstein to know that he could have.
Again, this is just idle speculation.