Contrite Christie apologizes, pushes 2nd term plans on skeptical Dems
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — His critics call him a bully, but New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie is offering hugs and more apologies to help protect his second-term priorities as a traffic scandal threatens to derail his political future.
He has little choice.
The often-outspoken governor offered new proposals on taxes, education and crime in a State of the State address on Tuesday that asked a state and national audience to look beyond his administration's mistakes. But the success of his plans depends upon cooperation from the Democratic-led state legislature — some of the same people investigating the Christie administration's role in an apparent political retribution plot that caused a massive traffic jam to punish a Democratic mayor.
The investigation, along with Christie's second-term priorities, could have far-reaching implications on the next presidential contest. As he weighs a White House bid, Christie has carefully crafted a national reputation as a straight-talking leader who values policy accomplishments more than playing politics. On Tuesday, he outlined 2014 goals that would strengthen his resume ahead of a prospective presidential campaign.
Christie offered a conciliatory tone in a 46-minute afternoon address that emphasized bipartisanship. He used the word "we" more than 100 times. And he left the podium briefly in the middle of his remarks to hug a reformed drug addict featured in his speech.
Transportation secretary optimistic the US may be ready to tackle its infrastructure deficit
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans spend a total of 600,000 years stuck in traffic every year. The nation has about 100,000 bridges old enough for Medicare. And a recent global ranking put the United States' infrastructure in 25th place, just behind Barbados. But Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says he sees signs the nation may finally be ready to tackle its "infrastructure deficit."