Before recapping his previous four years in office, and prior to summarizing his second-term plans, Gov. Chris Christie started his State of the State speech Tuesday by addressing the growing scandal that put New Jersey in the national spotlight.

"The last week has certainly tested this administration," Christie said to a joint session of the legislature. "Mistakes were clearly made. And as a result, we let down the people we are entrusted to serve." [SEE FULL TEXT]

Gov. Chris Christie delivers the State of the State Address in the Assembly Chambers at the Statehouse (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

It was one week ago that subpoenaed documents showed a key member of Christie's staff, who has since been fired, playing a pivotal role in the politically-motivated closure of Fort Lee access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September.


"I know our citizens deserve better. Much better," Christie said. "I am the governor and I am ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch, both good and bad."

Christie also made it a point to "assure the people of New Jersey" that the Bridgegate mess does not define New Jersey, and it won't delay the administration or legislature from focusing on the issues that affect every New Jersey resident.

The opposite may prove to be true, though. With the announcement of special investigative committees in both houses, Bridgegate will likely cut into time that lawmakers would otherwise use on discussing taxes, jobs and education.

"There needs to be a methodical and systematic approach to this," said Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees).

Christie indicated his administration will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries "to ensure this breach of trust does not happen again."