N.J. Gov. Christie Sworn Into Second Term

Dorothy Rowley | 1/21/2014, 12:20 p.m.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gives his inaugural speech on Jan. 21 after being sworn in for his second term.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was sworn in Tuesday morning for a second term amid ongoing investigations into the George Washington Bridge scandal and Superstorm Sandy aid.

Christie, the state's 55th governor, won re-election in November by a 22-point margin over his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono.

The embattled Christie, 51, a favored Republican contender for the 2016 presidential race, focused on the need for smaller government and unity among the people of New Jersey in his inaugural address at the state house in Trenton. The inaugural ball was due to heavy snowfall.

Christie's chances for the presidential bid have been marred by several investigations into the September four-hour traffic tie-ups that were allegedly ordered by members of his staff as political retribution after Hoboken, N.J., Mayor Dawn Zimmer refused to support Christie's gubernatorial campaign. He is also being taken to task over an allegation that his administration tied an advertisement of Superstorm Sandy to approval for a real estate project.

Christie attracted a national following for his leadership in 2012 after Sandy slammed into New Jersey. His blunt talk and amusing takes on politics, as well as his efforts to find common ground with Democrats on key issues such as underperforming teachers and the state's pension program, have made him a front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2016.

However, a poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center and USA Today shows that 34 percent of Americans now have an unfavorable opinion of him, up from 17 percent a year ago.

CNN reports that the New Jersey state Assembly and Senate also plan to announce on Tuesday that the two legislative bodies will form a committee to investigate allegations that Christie's administration engaged in abuse of power.