Republican Governor Chris Christie is hitting back at critics who are calling him a bully after the governor told a heckler to shut up and sit down.
A heckler attempted to shout down the governor at a speech last week when a tense exchange occurred. Critics charge that Christie’s harsh demeanor will not play well with voters, should the governor jump into the 2016 presidential race.
Christie said that he would not have treated the exchange any differently, and would not change on the national stage. “Be yourself,” Christie told CNN, according to NJ.com.
Christie argued that his style is popular. “I’ve got great reactions from people all over this country … (who say) ‘give them hell,’ those are things people say to me,” Christie said. He said being a leader sometimes means telling others to shut up if they have gone on for too long, “And that’s what I did,” he concluded.
Possible 2016 hopeful and Christie competitor Senator Rand Paul was one of the more vocal critics of Christie. Paul hinted that Christie’s demeanor may not play well in southern states. Paul argued that while Christie is great at what he does, people are looking for more “civility and discourse.”
Christie disagreed and struck back at Paul, “I think this country is a lot more the same than different.”