Chris Christie is trying to have a sense of humor. As reported by Ryan Lizza in this week’s New Yorker, Christie appeared earlier this month at a birthday roast for a former New Jersey governor, knowing full well that he would be the biggest target on that stage. Indeed, “The speakers aimed much of their fire at Christie,” Lizza said. Joy Behar went at Christie the hardest, from just feet away, telling the governor, “Don’t look at me like that, you’re scaring me.”
She continued, “When I first heard that he was accused of blocking off three lanes on the bridge, I said, ‘What the hell is he doing, standing in the middle of the bridge?’” Then Christie got in her face.
Lizza posted video of the encounter today:
“Don’t bully me!” Behar said after Christie reached for her notes. “Why don’t you get up here at the microphone instead of being such a coward?
Vince August, a New Jersey judge turned comedian, noted, “It really is an honor to be standing next to what could be the next President of the—.” He shuffled some papers on the lectern. “I’m sorry, these are the wrong notes. I’m doing a roast next week with Jeb Bush.”
“The tone was set early, when Joy went after him,” August, who memorably gave up his gig as a municipal judge to continue pursuing comedy, told Intelligencer by phone today. “I was a little surprised that he reacted the way he did. I thought it was a little unfair to her. Once you sit up there, you know you’re a target.”
The tension did ease as the night went on, though, according to August, who said he voted for Christie last November. (“Would I vote for him for president? Depends who else was running.”)
“I thought it was great that somebody in his spot, and with his ambition, would put himself in that position,” he said. “Whether you like the guy or not, that takes balls.”