GOP colleagues defend Gov. Christie as Bridgegate probe heats up

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Prominent Republicans are leaping to New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie’s defense, insisting that a traffic scandal won’t ruin his chances of running for president.

New Jersey Democrats also took to the Sunday talk shows to ask how a hands-on manager like Christie wouldn’t have known about a plan by a top aide to close lanes to the George Washington Bridge. They say that may have broken federal and state laws.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says primary voters could look past the scandal because Christie apologized for his staff’s behavior and punished those responsible.

Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich says he wants to believe Christie had no hand in bringing his town of Fort Lee to a standstill but is having a tough time buying it.