New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie unleashed his wrath on a man at a town hall meeting and ordered him to give up the microphone after he ventured to ask the governor whether members of his staff ever “plant questions” at such events.
Christie flatly said his staff doesn’t plant questions, but the man persisted, saying he had one very specific example in mind: “March 24. Nutley town hall meeting, the second person you called on. The man in the white sweater.”
“I’ve done 70 some town hall meetings. I couldn’t tell you who the second person was I called on in Nutley. I barely remember having been to Nutley, but you obviously had it right in your mind,” Christie said, according to the Star-Ledger’s video from the event.
But the man pressed on with his charge, eventually forcing a visibly irritated Christie to shoot back, “Where are you getting the understanding from? From who? … Your understanding that it was a planted question — where are you getting that understanding from?”
“I was sitting next to the woman who was a friend of the person who asked the question. Her name was Candy from Bloomfield who said that she was a friend of yours. So that’s the source of my information,” the man replied.
“First of all, I don’t know who Candy is,” Christie said, losing his patience. “I may have a friend named Candy, I don’t know who you’re talking about. Secondly, to say it’s a planted question, that means that my staff asked a person to ask a particular question. And that doesn’t happen. So, you really, in front of this group, with all the important issues we have going on in this state, you’re wasting all these people’s time, with a question about whether we plant questions in the audience.”
When the man insisted on suggesting that the question was planted, Christie got the last word: “Listen, if I’d planted the question, why the hell did I call on you? Give the microphone back.”
As the room broke into applause, Christie concluded by telling the crowd, “What a joy to be the governor of New Jersey.”