Chris Christie's Office Slams MSNBC, denies mayor's claim Sandy funds held hostage

Apparently realizing that vaingloriously contrite didn't work for him the last time, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has now moved on to another tactic: all-out war. Soon after Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer went on MSNBC and publicly accused the Christie administration of holding Sandy hurricane relief funds hostage, a Christie spokesman went for the network's jugular, calling it a "partisan network" that's been "almost gleeful" in their efforts to attack the governor. Blaming partisan politics: a great tactic, for a governor whose main appeal is his "willingness to play the bipartisan game.”

Christie spokesman Colin Reed slammed the MSNBC report in a statement late Saturday, saying, “MSNBC is a partisan network that has been openly hostile to Governor Christie and almost gleeful in their efforts attacking him."

During her appearance on MSNBC Saturday, Zimmer accused Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Richard Constable, Christie’s community affairs commissioner, of purposely withholding aid funds after she didn't approve a redevelopment project supported by the governor. Rather than getting the requested $127 million in hurricane relief for Hoboken (80% of which was entirely submerged under water post-Hurricane Sandy), Zimmer ended up getting less than one percent of that — along with the threat that no more aid money would be given unless she approved the development plan.

“The Governor and Mayor Zimmer have had a productive relationship, with Mayor Zimmer even recently saying she’s ‘very glad’ he’s been our Governor,” Reed said. “It’s very clear partisan politics are at play here as Democratic mayors with a political axe to grind come out of the woodwork and try to get their faces on television.”

Christie's response to Zimmer's accusations have done little to loosen the image of him as a bully (or even deny the charges), as he tries to weather the controversies of the last week during his weekend trip to Florida as the new chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Not only did documents reveal last week that his aides were behind the life-threatening traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013, a few days later, CNN reported a federal audit into the governor’s alleged misuse of Hurricane Sandy relief funds in New Jersey — an Occupy Sandy New Jersey group has already popped up to protest against the governor.

Needless to say, the governor’s chances at a 2016 run for the presidency? Pretty grim.