(CNN) — Facing declining polls numbers thanks to multiple controversies, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his state, as he taunted New Yorkers by reminding them that this Sunday’s Super Bowl is being played in the Garden State rather than the Empire State.
“It was good to sit at home yesterday and watch the two teams arrive. Now, for all my friends in New York, I want to remind you they did not land at LaGuardia Airport, no they didn’t. And God knows they did not land at JFK. They landed at Newark Liberty International Airport,” said Christie Monday at the Boys and Girls Club in Newark.
While both New Jersey and New York are teaming up to host the Super Bowl, Christie highlighted that the actual game is being played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“The Super Bowl is in New Jersey. Now people can go to New York and have some fun in New York. I’m fine with that. That’s good. Let them go over there, go in a couple-they have a few good restaurants over there. They’ve got some theater and some other stuff to do, but, you know, in the end, this is about the game. It’s not about all the other stuff. It’s about the game. And when the game starts at 6:30 and the announcers come on they are not going to say live from New York City, because that would be a lie. They may show that skyline that you can see from where the game is actually being played, which is in our state, in the state of New Jersey, so we’re proud to be the host of the game,” Christie added.
At the renovation ceremony for the Boys and Girls Club, Christie played ping pong with a 13-year old boy. At one point the Governor joked to laughter that “you’re kicking my butt man…there could be ramifications for this.”
The lighter moments came as New Jersey state lawmakers voted on Monday to create a bipartisan committee to investigate the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal that has rocked Christie’s administration. The panel is looking into allegations that top Christie advisers orchestrated traffic gridlock last September in Fort Lee by closing access lanes to the George Washington Bridge to punish that town’s mayor for not endorsing Christie’s re-election.
Separately, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark has also issued subpoenas to political groups associated with Christie as part of its preliminary review of the matter. Christie has denied knowledge of any politically motivated scheme.
The Republican governor, who’s seriously considering a bid for the White House in 2016, is also facing another controversy. Democratic Mayor Dawn Zimmer of Hoboken said Christie’s lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, last May conditioned Superstorm Sandy aid for Hoboken on her support for a redevelopment project backed by Christie and proposed by a firm with ties to the governor. Guadagno firmly denied the allegation.
A new national poll released early Tuesday indicates what previous surveys have also indicated, that Christie’s favorable ratings are dropping and that a growing number of Americans don’t believe him when he says he didn’t know anything about the alleged plot by some of his top aides to close the access lanes.
According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Christie’s favorable rating dropped from 33% in October to 22% now, with his unfavorable rating rising from 17% to 29%. The biggest drop since October comes from Democrats: their favorable opinion of Christie has dropped 35 percentage points. Independents are down 20 points and Republicans seven points.
The survey also indicates that 44% say Christie’s mostly not telling the truth about his knowledge of the bridge controversy, with 42% saying he’s mostly telling the truth.
A new state poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University indicates that Christie’s approval rating among New Jersey voters dropped from 61% in October, just before he was overwhelmingly re-elected as governor, to 48% now, with his disapproval rating jumping from 24% to 39%.