After bridge scandal, Christie’s fiery spokesman recedes to the shadows

Michael Drewniak
Michael Drewniak (Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger)

He’s been Chris Christie’s front man and a trusted aide since the governor’s days as U.S. attorney.

Sometimes charming, often pugnacious, press secretary Michael Drewniak has provided daily sound bites about Christie’s positions and agenda. He’s worked to polish the governor’s image and smack down criticism, whether from newspaper editorial writers or elected officials.

But in the month since Drewniak’s name publicly surfaced in documents related to the George Washington Bridge scandal — including his reference to the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a “piece of excrement” — the voice of the administration has fallen largely silent.

Drewniak, a former Star-Ledger reporter renowned among the Trenton press corps for his profanity-laced tirades about stories he deems unflattering or unfair to Christie, has kept the lowest of profiles, taking few press calls and offering little or no comment. His role as chief spokesman appears to have been turned over, at least temporarily, to Colin Reed, a colleague in the governor’s press office.

And in a move that may or may not reflect on Drewniak’s standing, Christie has rehired former spokesman Kevin Roberts, who left the press office last year to handle media inquiries for the governor’s re-election campaign.

Neither Reed nor Drewniak responded to requests for clarification about the status of the longtime aide, who’s in the crosshairs of Democratic lawmakers investigating the decision to limit local access to the bridge in September.

Read the story at (Feb. 9, 2014)

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