New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters Thursday that his sharp reaction July 5 to a heckler on the Seaside Heights, N.J. boardwalk was an appropriate and “planned response.”
“You know, listen. I get heckled all the time,” Christie said, explaining that he seldom reacts.
“This whole idea that it’s a ‘lack of self control,’ let me assure all of you: It was not a lack of self control,” Christie said. “It was an absolutely planned response. You use that language in front my children, you’re gonna hear back from me. That’s the way it is.”
In early July, an ice cream cone-wielding Christie let a passing heckler have it after the man shouted out some disparaging remarks about the governor’s education policy.
According to the governor, the man used some foul language in front of his young children, and that unleashed the wrath of Christie.
“You’re a real big shot … you’re a real big shot shootin’ your mouth off,” Christie called out as the man walked away. “Keep walkin’ away … really good … keep walkin’,” Christie shouted, as a cell phone camera rolled.
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“Now of course everything gets blown up,” he acknowledged, “because of all the stuff that’s going on in the national scene.”
Christie suggested that speculation regarding his chances of joining Mitt Romney as a candidate for vice president — in addition to a report that the New Jersey governor will be delivering an evening keynote speech during the Republican National Convention — has created a media lens that scrutinizes his every word.
“And I love reading all this stuff in the press that somehow, you know, people make decisions on who’s going to be vice president, who’s going to be speaker, who’s going to be anything else based upon somebody acting like I acted.”
Christie hinted that his boardwalk spat with the heckler would likely have little bearing on his political future.
“I just don’t believe that’s the way people make those decisions,” Christie said.