Chris Christie on Clinton servers: What if I’d deleted Bridgegate emails?

Updated 11:04 AM EDT, Mon August 17, 2015
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(CNN) —  

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Monday he would have been blasted in the wake of the Bridgegate scandal if he had done the same as Hillary Clinton, and wiped a private email server clean.

CNN Interactive: 2016 election candidates

“Can you imagine, if after the bridge investigation began, I came out and said ‘Oh, I’ve done all my business as governor on a private email server. And, I’ve deleted now 30,000 of those emails. But trust me none of it had to do with the bridge.’ Give me a break,” Christie said on CNN’s “New Day.”

Bridgegate: 1 guilty plea, 2 indictments and ‘liars’

Clinton has repeatedly sparked criticism over the use of her private email server – and the decision to delete tens of thousands of emails from it while under investigation by a Congressional panel – most recently when she joked this past weekend about Snapchat’s ability to make messages instantly disappear.

Christie, who was weighing in on Clinton’s dipping poll numbers, said a key part of the problem is voters dislike her lack of transparency. He also said the attacks on Clinton, which have largely come from Republican candidates but also a few Democratic opponents, are not about politics.

“Why not just answer that question instead of talking all the time like she does on television now about ‘Oh, the politics and the Republicans?’ It’s not about the politics,” he said.

Christie also hit Clinton earlier Monday morning in an interview with Fox News, saying the former secretary of state is “capable of anything.”

“Her arrogance is breathtaking. Breathtaking,” Christie said.

Former Christie allies plead not guilty in Bridgegate scandal

Democratic groups quickly responded by pointing out that Christie deleted 12 text messages in 2013 during the height of the Bridgegate scandal.

“Has Chris Christie checked his own inbox recently or does he let his staff do that for him? In the federal criminal investigation into Bridgegate, Christie’s staff was caught red-handed for using personal emails and text messages to conduct state business,” said Adrienne Watson, communications director for Correct the Record, a pro-Clinton group that fires back against Republicans.

On Monday, Christie also evaluated Donald Trump’s immigration proposal Monday, saying he found constructing a wall along the entire southern border unworkable and also did not think Mexico would pay for it.

“This makes no sense,” Christie said. “I’ve met (Mexican) President (Enrique) Pena Nieto a number of times. I don’t think if we present him with a bill he’s gong to pay for it and this is not a negotiation of a real estate deal, ok?”

Instead, Christie said, he would build walls in selective spots along the border – like dense urban areas – and pay for it. He also wants to use drones to conduct border surveillance, have the FBI, DEA and ATF work with border patrol agents and use the e-verify system to check worker status.

“The fact is these people are coming over here to work, they’re not coming here to vote,” Christie told CNN. “And if, in fact, they know they can’t get jobs then they’re not going to come, and so that’s the most important element of a ll four.”