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TODAY   |  January 14, 2014

Todd: Christie should not mention scandal in speech

NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd says that mentioning the traffic jam scandal during New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s State of the State address could work against him, politically.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> much. chuck todd is nbc's political director and our chief white house correspondent. good morning to you.

>> good morning, matt.

>> this is no ordinary state of the state address , 51% of people in new jersey don't think that chris christie has been completely honest about the george washington bridge situation. he's already held a two-hour press conference on that subject. what does he need to say in this speech today?

>> well, i think that's got to be a debate that he's having with his staff this morning is how much to say if anything at all. i'm having my own flashbacks to 1998 when the lewinski broke, it broke the same time in the calendar year. early january. couple weeks later, bill clinton gave his state of the union and never mentioned. that's why everybody was tuning in and watching. if you're chris christie and think about it. if you mention the investigation directly, well, what's the only sound bite that's going to get played? the lead of every story. it's going to get mentioned anyway. i think that's the debate. i think you can make a compel compelling case he should not say anything, make make an allusion about, hey, let's not get bogged down in politics. but making a direct reference, that actually might be a mistake for him today if he wants to get any attention paid to the rest --

>> negativity loves a vacuum. and in the absence of speaking about this, there is this now drip, drip, drip going on. and how is that impacting his national profile?

>> well, look, i think this is where he's got to start wondering, forget his national profile, he's got to save his own governorship first. he's got multiple investigations. it is hard to imagine that this is going to be a good year for chris christie . you have too many entities now with some form of subpoena power, with some investigative powers. whether it's an i.g., inspector general on the federal level , you've got what's going on in the state. that part of it, i don't know. but, you know, i think he's got an interesting decision to make, which is how cooperative is he going to be? i think if he really wants to have a national future, he might have to be overly cooperative even if that means making these investigations drag on even longer because he doesn't want to look like he's holding them up.

>> chuck todd in washington, thanks very much.