You’re not going to believe this, but Chris Christie argued with audience members at a town hall-style meeting in Middlesex County last night.
The Inquirer’s Maddie Hanna writes that Christie first had to deal with a coordinated call-and-response chant from protesters over “corrupt uses of Hurricane Sandy money.” Sadly, we don’t learn what the chant is, but my guess is “Hey, ho, hey, ho/Corrupt uses of Hurricane Sandy money have got to go!” Okay, maybe not.
Christie told the audience the protesters were from the Communication Workers of America — “people who we – we, collectively – have been standing up against for the last 4 1/2 years.” The union denied the affiliation.
The second disruption was more fun, because it featured better quotes from Christie.
Christie got into a back-and-forth debate with Maura Collinsgru, health-policy advocate with the left-leaning New Jersey Citizen Action, who told the governor that her group and others had been working to enroll the uninsured and had gotten "silence" from the administration. Christie cut in. "When I expanded the Medicaid program, is that silence?" he said, referring to his decision to accept federal money to expand the program.
After Collinsgru said the state had failed to reinvest money it had saved as a result of the federal Medicaid dollars, Christie said: "You're simply wrong."
"To stand up here and misinform people because you have an agenda is simply incorrect," Christie said.
The top it all off, a top New Jersey Democrat accused Christie of a "Nixonian tactic" after the town hall. A member of the state police was outside photographing protesters as they left, per PolitickerNJ and the AP.
And, yes, some of the protesters were disrupting the highly organized faux town hall by asking questions about Bridgegate! Eh, they have nothing to worry about. It's not like the Christie administration has a history of retaliating against its enemies.