BELMAR, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday told a heckler critical of his handling of Superstorm Sandy recovery to “sit down and shut up” on the second anniversary of the storm.
A man began heckling Christie about the pace of storm recovery and interrupted the governor’s speech Wednesday in Belmar on several occasions.
“You all know me, so if we’re going to get into a debate here today, it’s going to get very interesting and very fun,” he told a protester holding a sign.
After trying to brush the man off, Christie yelled back the man didn’t know what he was talking about and was just showing off for the news cameras.
“I’d be more than happy to have a debate with you any time you’d like, guy, 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. I’ve been here when the cameras aren’t here, buddy, and done the work,” Christie said.
When heckler Jim Keady continued, Christie told him: “Sit down and shut up.”
Keady, a former Asbury Park councilman, founded a group called Finish The Job, which is critical of the pace of rebuilding assistance in New Jersey.
He told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman when Christie said those five words to him, it hurt.
“I stopped work for a month. I volunteered in Belmar, the town I grew up in, every day,” Keady told WCBS 880. “You begged the citizens to give you that job; you owe them to answer questions even when it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient.”