As Chris Christie’s public feud with an Ebola nurse continues (when asked about her possible lawsuit today, he responded, “Whatever. Get in line.“), the New Jersey governor marked the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy by going off on a protester. As he began speaking in the Jersey Shore town of Belmar, several people in the audience held up handwritten signs and shouted, “Finish the job!” Christie tried to dismiss one protester by cracking, “I got the picture; I read it, okay,” then grew increasingly angry as the man kept talking.
“I’d be more than happy to have a debate with you, guy, any time you like, because somebody like you doesn’t know a damn thing about what you’re talking about, except to stand up and show off when the cameras are here,” Christie said.
“I’ve been here when the cameras aren’t here, buddy. I’ve been here when the cameras weren’t here and did the work,” the governor continued, drawing applause from the crowd.
Christie exploded as the protester demanded to know why his administration only distributed $220 million of the $1.1 billion allocated by the federal government to get New Jersey residents back in their home. “Turn around. … Maybe take your jacket off, roll up your sleeves and do something for the people of this city,” Christie shouted. “It’s been 23 months since then, when all you’ve been doing is flapping your mouth and not doing anything! So listen, if you want to have that conversation later, I’m happy to have it, buddy. But until that time, sit down and shut up!”
The heckler claimed he took a month of work in 2012 to help with storm relief, and left the scene after he was surrounded by police. Later, he identified himself as Jim Keady, a single father to a 6-year-old girl and former Asbury Park city councilman. “That bully routine doesn’t work with me. I came with the intent to stand there and ask the questions that I know thousands of New Jersey homeowners want to hear,” he told the Daily News. “In typical fashion, Christie didn’t answer them.”