By David Madden

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS) — How is New Jersey governor Chris Christie dealing with the aftermath of “Bridgegate”?

Dr. Nickolaos Linardopoulos, a crisis communications expert at Rutgers University, labels Christie’s handling of the situation “brilliant” up to this point.

Linardopoulos thinks Christie got ahead of the scandal by apologizing and taking responsibility (see related story).

“(But) I think it’s very important that he was actually telling the truth, because if it’s revealed later that he actually did have knowledge of the events, I think that’s really going to work against him,” he says.

Dr. Michael Smith, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at LaSalle, would agree — particularly as it pertains to any potential presidential aspirations Christie might have for 2016.

Smith says Democrats and Republicans alike are likely to pounce on Christie if there’s even a suggestion that he’s holding something back.

WEB EXTRA:  NJ Legislative Committee releases thousands of pages of “Bridgegate” e-mails

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