Despite the George Washington Bridge scandal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie still has the backing of the Republican party establishment in early presidential nominating states, NBC News reported. Many of those closest to the action allow that Christie could end up disqualified as a potential 2016 presidential candidate if it turns out that he wasn't telling the truth about the politically motivated lane closures. Yet interviews with GOP officials reveal that even though there's skittishness in private, there's readiness to publicly rally behind Christie. His handling of the crisis so far, they say, could wear well over the next two years, eventually casting him as a decisive leader willing to take responsibility and fire top aides for their mistakes. Early polls have put the Christie atop the potential GOP field, and his success winning over Hispanic, independent and even Democratic voters in New Jersey have cast him as someone with the potential clout and widespread appeal to run in 2016.