TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s time in office is over next week.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer had a look back Thursday at the governor’s controversies and accomplishments.
In the mostly blue state of New Jersey, Republican Gov. Christie was elected to two terms. But at the end, he had most voter seeing red – in a different kind of way.
“I did vote for him; was very disappointed towards the end,” one woman said.
“I have nothing good to say about that man,” another said. “He’s ruined us.”
“I felt that he was a bully,” a third said.
On March 3, 2010, just after Christie took office, one poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University found a majority of voters – 52 percent – approved of how he did his job – compared with 21 percent who disapproved and 28 percent who were unsure.
“He started out real good,” a woman said.
The 55th governor of the Garden State immediately became known for his brash demeanor – amplified during moments like one news conference he gave before Hurricane Irene.
“Get the hell off the beach,” he said in his warning in August 2011.
Post-Superstorm Sandy in 2012, as the floodwaters receded, Christie’s approval rating surged to 77 percent. Many residents were pleased with his response to the storm and how he toured the damage with then-President Barack Obama.
Christie was reelected to a second term in 2013. Afterward, things began declining for the governor.
“As more time came after Sandy, I think people started seeing: ‘Well, you know, the money isn’t flowing as quickly as we need. People are still not in their houses. Progress is not being made,” said Alfred Doblin, editorial page editor for The Record.
Doblin said from there, the problems and scandals piled up. Among them was the Bridgegate scandal.
In November 2016, Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, a Christie appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, were convicted of scheming with former Christie ally David Wildstein to punish Democratic Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie when he ran for re-election in 2013. Wildstein pleaded guilty.
Christie consistently denied any knowledge of the plot.
“I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue in its planning or its execution and I am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here, regardless of what the facts ultimately uncovered, this was handled in a callous and indifferent…