New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday opened up on a reporter in a news conference who challenged the Republican’s tone, telling the reporter that he “must be the thinnest-skinned guy in America.”
The reporter was inquiring about a contentious school voucher bill the governor is trying to push through the state legislature.
“Governor, do you think this sort of confrontational tone can increase your odds in getting this through the legislature?” the reporter asked.
After identifying the reporter by name, Christie responded: "You must be the thinnest-skinned guy in America.”
“If you think that's a confrontational tone than you should really see me when I'm pissed,” he said. “That's not confrontational. I love when people say they don't want to have argument, that's what we were sent here for."
Christie then said he wasn’t bothered by tempers flaring in the state’s political dialogue, pointing out that he intends to be tough in his opposition to Democratic initiatives.
“They believe in certain things. They believe in bigger government, higher taxes and more spending,” the governor said. “I believe in less government, less taxes and in empowering local officials who were elected by their citizens. Now I can see where there could be a disagreement or two.”
“Now I could say it really nicely. We could say it in a way you all would be more comfortable with. Maybe we could go back to the last administration where I could say it in a way that you wouldn’t understand it,” Christie said, taking a swipe at former Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. “But the fact of the matter is, this is who I am and this is who the people elected.”
Christie then blamed the media for creating the perception that he is supposedly confrontational.
“Blunt, direct, maybe you could just say ‘honest and refreshing,’” Christie told the reporter. “Maybe I could see that in your paper tomorrow.”