ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey’s governor finds himself in the middle of a name-calling controversy, this as he tries to leave behind what some have dubbed “chopper-gate.”
“I mean she should really be embarrassed at what a jerk she is for saying something like that,” Gov. Christie said.
Chris Christie made that comment Thursday about Democratic Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle.
“I am very disappointed that he resorted to name calling. However, I am not surprised since he has a pattern of abusive language towards those who disagree with him,” Huttle told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
The governor’s war of words came as he announced he was paying the bill for a state police chopper that flew him and his wife to their son’s baseball game, and then to a political dinner.
Christie was angry over a press release Assemblywoman Huttle had sent out insinuating he cared more about the meeting than his son’s game.
“I also saw an awful comment by Assemblywoman Huttle, who should be ashamed of herself when saying they left in the 5th inning; that shows where Mr. and Mrs. Christie’s priorities are, that they’d rather be with fundraisers from Iowa than see the end of their son’s game,” the governor said.
Sloan then asked Assemblywoman Huttle to clarify her remarks.
Sloan: “You said leaving in the 5th inning to meet with Iowa political donors says something about his priorities. Do you think that was appropriate about his family?”
Huttle: “It was not a personal attack. It was about priorities his scheduling. If he needed to be at son’s game he could have been a little late for the party.”
Political analyst Peter Woolley, who watched Christie’s comment, said both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of crossing the line in Trenton.
“The game gets very personal. The fact is the governor is determined and popular. People take pot shots at him. The difference is the governor takes pots shots back,” Woolley said.
The governor had no comment Friday, but he has said in the past the back-and-forth insults are distractions as lawmakers try to hammer out a budget.
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