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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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January 9th, 2014
07:11 PM ET

Democratic Congressman: There is more to this Chris Christie bridge controversy

(CNN) - Republican Governor Chris Christie offered a full apology Thursday for the actions of members of his senior staff involving lane closures in one New Jersey town, and political retribution against that town's mayor for not endorsing the governor's reelection effort.

"It was a masterful performance, I think, of damage control, and if this were the end of the story I think a lot of people might be satisfied,"Rep. Rush Holt, D-New Jersey, said of Christie's nearly 2-hour press conference. "But I suspect it's not the end of the story."

The Democratic congressman said Americans attracted to Christie for his plain-speaking style, viewing him as a presidential-type candidate, "are really projecting their own hopes of what a politician with integrity would look like. They don't really know him."

"We in New Jersey have said for years that he has a bullying streak," said Holt.

"I am not a bully," Christie said Thursday, as criticisms of Christie's management style of being heavy handed and petty come to the forefront.

Holt clearly disagrees.

"Now people around the country, the first thing they learn about him, other than his reputation, is that at least he either took part in petty, vindictive payback or vendettas, or created a climate where that could take place," said Holt.

For more of our interview with Rep. Rush Holt, check out the video above.

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