Following are some key statements from Gov. Chris Christie's nearly two-hour press conference regarding a scheme by some of his aides to close access lanes to the George Washington Bridge to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J.
"I come out here today to apologize to the people of New Jersey. I apologize to the people of Fort Lee and I apologize to the members of the state Legislature. I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team."
Regarding deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly:
"I terminated her employment because she lied to me. … I have not had any conversation with Bridget Kelly since the e-mail came out. And so she was not given the opportunity to explain to me why she lied because it was so obvious that she had. And I'm, quite frankly, not interested in the explanation at the moment."
Regarding former campaign manager Bill Stepien:
"I was disturbed by the tone and behavior and attitude of callous indifference that was displayed in the e-mails by my former campaign manager, Bill Stepien. And reading that, it made me lose my confidence in Bill's judgment. And you cannot have someone at the top of your political operation who you do not have confidence in."
Regarding his knowledge of the scheme:
"I was blindsided yesterday morning.. . . 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 uncover. This was handled in a callous and indifferent way, and it is not the way this administration has conducted itself over the last four years and not the way it will conduct itself over the next four."
Regarding his demeanor:
"I feel passionately about issues, and I don't hide my emotions from people. I am not a focus-group tested, blow-dried candidate or governor. Now, that has always made some people, as you know, uneasy. Some people like that style, some people don't. ... But I am not a bully."
On his attempt to resolve the issue quickly:
"I found this out at 8:50 yesterday morning. By 9 o'clockthis morning, Bridget Kelly was fired. By 7 o'clock yesterday evening, Bill Stepien was asked to leave my organization. That's pretty swift action for a day's work, and that's exactly the way I'll continue to conduct myself if there's any other information surrounding this that comes up, or anything different that comes up over the course of the next four years."
2016 presidential campaign impact:
"I know that everybody in the political media and in the political chattering class wants to start the 2016 race. And universities can't help themselves but do polls that are meaningless three years away from an election. And you guys can't help but put them on the air and talk about them."
"My job is to be governor of New Jersey. And I have — I'll say what I've said before. I am enormously flattered that folks would talk about me in my party as someone who they think could be a candidate for president. But I am absolutely nowhere near beginning that consideration process."
On his feelings about the scandal:
"I'm sad. I'm sad. That's the predominant emotion I feel right now is sadness, sadness that I was betrayed by a member of my staff, sadness that I had people who I entrusted with important jobs who acted completely inappropriately, sad that that's led the people of New Jersey to have less confidence in the people that I've selected."