NEW YORK, New York — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bust a move on late night TV.
And the New Jersey Republican danced with “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon around testy issues such as the George Washington Bridge controversy, which has cast a shadow over the Republican governor and his administration, a potential run for president, his weight, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s shocking primary loss.
Fallon, on his NBC late night talk show Thursday, asked Christie to consider a hypothetical situation in which the Garden State governor were to run for the White House in 2016 against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“Do you think you could beat her?” asked Fallon.
“You bet,” Christie answered.
“In a dance off,” Fallon asked.
“That’s what I was talking about. What were you talking about?” added Christie.
In a segment titled, “The Evolution of Dad Dancing,” Fallon and the Republican governor appeared alongside each other, in a riff on how someone’s dad might dance at a birthday party. Both Christie and Fallon wore khakis and blue golf shirts. They grabbed their belts and demonstrated dance moves like “Don’t Make Me Turn This Car Around,” “The Passionate Elliptical” and “This Bridge is Closed’.”
“You’re a pretty good dancer,” Fallon said.
“You had a little scandal happen,” said the talk show host, alluding to what Christie’s chief of staff, Kevin O’Dowd, has called a “major distraction.”
The appearance was the first for Christie’s on late night TV since the bridge scandal went viral at the beginning of the year. Members of Christie’s inner circle are accused of closing access lanes to the George Washington Bridge last September, causing massive traffic jams in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in retribution because the borough’s Democratic mayor didn’t endorse Christie’s re-election lats year.
The episode sparked both federal and state investigations. Christie has repeatedly denied any involvement in the alleged scheme.
Earlier this year legendary rock star Bruce Springsteen appeared with Fallon on his late night talk show, performing duet a about the bridge scandal to the tune of Springsteen’s classic rock anthem “Born to Run.”
“What do you have to say?” Christie asked Fallon, regarding that parody.
“I’m very sorry,” Fallon responded in a mock-sheepish way.
“I accept your apology,” said the governor.
Regarding Christie’s weight loss (the governor is noticeably thinner following Lap-Band surgery last year), Fallon praised the governor. But later in the interview he joked again about Christie’s appetite.
As Christie talked about a luncheon in his honor for winning “Father of the Year” by the Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council in Manhattan, he remarked that “I have four children, you know, one of them showed up.”
“But you ate the other three lunches,” Fallon jabbed.
Asked about Cantor’s defeat Tuesday at the hands of a little known and underfunded primary challenger from the right, Christie said the House majority leader’s loss was “unfortunate” and that Cantor’s a “friend and good guy.”
“That’s what democracy is all about,” added Christie. “You’ve got to speak your mind and then let people decide.”