(Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Thursday fired a top aide who apparently helped orchestrate massive traffic jams at a busy commuter bridge to settle a score, saying he had been blindsided and was heartbroken by the scandal.
Below are some of the governor's past remarks to reporters on the bridge closures and other issues that have earned him his reputation as a tough-talking politician:
"I worked the cones. Unbeknownst to everybody, I was actually the guy out there. I was in overalls and hat, but I was actually the guy working the cones out there. You really are not serious with that question?" - Christie mocking a reporter who asked on December 2, 2013, about the George Washington Bridge lane closures leading to Fort Lee, New Jersey, which he said his staff was not involved in.
"I know who I am, but I am not a bully." - Christie speaking at a news conference on January 9, 2014, to announce he terminated his top aide after learning she was apparently involved in the traffic tie-up.
"I mean, can you guys please take the bat out on her for once?" - Christie telling reporters on April 13, 2011 to get tough on 78-year-old State Senator Loretta Weinberg, majority leader of the New Jersey Senate, who represents Fort Lee.
"He acted like an idiot. He's an idiot. I don't have any regret about it at all." - Christie responding on March 12, 2013, to a reporter's question about the governor shouting down a Navy SEAL after he criticized the governor's higher education plans at a town hall meeting.
"You people disappoint me on Tuesday, you don't do what you're supposed to do on Tuesday for Mitt Romney - I will be back, Jersey-style, people. I will be back." - Christie speaking on December 30, 2011, to Romney supporters to get them to back the candidate before the Iowa caucus.
"You know, something may be going down tonight, but it ain't going to be jobs, sweetheart," - Christie responding to female hecklers at a Romney rally in New Hampshire on January 8, 2012.
"Until that time, she should just shut up. She must be a genius and should be Surgeon General," - Christie responding to former White House physician Dr. Connie Mariano's comments on his weight on February 6, 2013.
"I saw Jon Corzine leave a Bruce Springsteen concert early one time. You cannot be from New Jersey and have left a Bruce Springsteen concert early," - Christie said in an interview with Esquire Magazine on September 11, 2012, about his Democratic opponent for governor of New Jersey.
(Reporting by James Lunt; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Gunna Dickson)