PHILADELPHIA (CBSNewYork) – Things got a bit out of hand at one of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s town hall meetings on Thursday, according to CBS Philly, when a shouting match ended with the governor calling an audience member an “idiot.”

The back-and-forth confrontation started with a question about the proposed Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University merger from second-year law student and Iraq War veteran William Brown, the website said.

But as Christie began to explain the reason for the merger, Brown attempted to yell over him to make his point. “Here’s what’s going to happen,” Christie said. “Rutgers is going to merge with Rowan, and here’s why.  What I’m doing is providing other opportunities for a bigger and better university.”

As Brown continued to try to speak over the governor, Christie stopped trying to explain his position.

“If you decide what you want to do is put on a show today, let me tell you something,” Christie proclaimed. “I can go back and forth with you as much as you want.”

And just before Brown was thrown out of the meeting, Christie gave the law student some unsolicited advice: “After you graduate from law school, if you conduct yourself like that in the courtroom your rear-end’s gonna get thrown in jail, idiot.”

Later, when asked about the incident, Christie explained his actions.

“I tried to be patient with the guy,” Christie said. “Every time I tried to answer he started yelling over me again. Well damn, man, I’m governor. Could you just shut up for a second?”

Brown, who was a Navy SEAL and a former candidate for New Jersey State Assembly, was escorted out of the meeting by police without further incident.

Was the governor out of line? Or did the law student get what he deserved? Sound off below…

Comments (110)
  1. DV says:

    Wow, looks like many of your “followers” have absolute contempt and zero respect for Gov Christie. It is interesting that they all appear so intellectual and “tolerant.” Name calling? Really? How childish! I’m referring to your readers of course; they are NOT speaking in the heated arena of a verbal exchange as was the Gov.

  2. jerseyjoey says:

    Christie is a liberal punching bag, sad thing is they are right.

  3. lynn taylor says:

    The guy WAS an idiot. The Gov called it right again.

    1. DarthEVaderCheney says:

      Gov. Krispy-Kreme calling anyone, ANYONE an idiot makes him look twice as bad. Just a bad person/Porko any way you look at it.

  4. tookie says:


    1. DarthEVaderCheney says:

      Tookie, despite my negative remarks re: Christie in the past, you are spot on the mark! Despite Christie’s numerous, numerous errors in the past, this man definitely needs deep counseling regarding his past. The sad thing is that he is hurting so many people in the process because of his disorganized life. I’m surprised his constituents did not see this before they even nominated him, much less voted for him. You are correct… pity the man and pray for him!

  5. mikel says:

    You know why the likes of christie, jeb bush and others claim they won’t be the last minute candidate? It takes multiple years to hide improprieties in their tax returns. They all know they have skeletons they don’t want exposed right now and need to cover them up before ever considering the option.

  6. lulu says:

    I don’t think he gets enough sex.

    1. DarthEVaderCheney says:

      How the heck does one have sex with a hot air balloon??!!!

  7. Chico says:

    So, you can’t be an idiot if you served in Iraq? Really? Timothy McVeigh served in Iraq.

  8. Christie Says I'm A Fat Hog DON'T MESS WITH ME! says:


  9. MikeFD says:

    Type A Personality
    Type B Diabetes.

    Nasty combo

  10. MikeFD says:

    I dont care how out of line the Iraq War vet/student was. I am appalled at my governor’s behaviour …. YET AGAIN. The man is basically an egotistical PIG.

  11. Ronni says:

    You might think yourself a “BIG” man being Governor and using your “weight”, so to speak, to push others around, but when you called the Navy Seal an idiot for trying to speak his mind and having him escorted from the meeting by law enforcement, that made you nothing more than a “FAT” man with a BIG mouth. Do you even realize that most people believe the Navy Seal is a BIGGER man than you’ll ever be? Probably not – you’re too pompous and will never ever be anything more than “BIG and FAT”!

  12. KIM JONES says:



    1. charles says:

      and you just did what he did. Call people derogatory names. You’re no better.

      1. DarthEVaderCheney says:

        charles… sit on the Washington monument… fasssssst!!! Please???

  13. Neil says:

    Can you day damage control, Christie as a president after that, are you kidding me

  14. steve says:

    His kids will have to live with all of this. And his wife would have left him long ago I am now a Democrat!

    1. Anne says:

      Good ridence, now go help your COMRADE OBAMA further destroy this country!!!

      1. DarthEVaderCheney says:

        Anne, babycakes!!! It\s people like you and your ilk that have brought the bad blood between he people of the USA!!! You are the laughingstock and cheap entertainment for the countries around the world! I have a lot of explaining to do to people here in South America when they ask what the hell is wrong with this small vocal group that hates so much!

        YOUR kind are precisely why they build FEMA detention camps just waiting for you/ Would you like a window view or a cot by the door?

        1. Anakin says:

          DarthEVaderCheney, you professed love, but wrote with hatred. Even you pseudonym implies that. What has Cheney done for Americans during his 8 years a VP – none. What has Pres. Obama done for the us Americans during the last 3 1/4 years as – not much either. Got the point? All politicians are cut from the same cloth. We need to replace them every 4 years to keep them honest.

          1. DarthEVaderCheney says:

            And your point is? I thought so!

  15. JohnnyFontane says:

    Mr. Christie: If you choose to hold a “town hall” meeting you should be willing to listen to the citizens of the “town”. If the only opinion you wish to hear is your own, you might as well stay home where you can repeat “damn, man, I’m Governor” into the mirror over and over.

    1. KIM JONES says:

      RIGHT ON !!!

    2. Jim says:

      Being constantly interrupted is no excuse and doesn’t mean the public (us) can go whatever we want. And if you saw the video, he said the part about “damn, I’m the governor” he said it to the audience. And rightly so that he said this, let the governor say what he’s there to say. Unless you already hate Christie, which it sounds like you and others already do, then if you look at it as is, he was right. And it doesn’t matter if the heckler was a former SEAL or former honor student or whatever.

      1. rose says:

        Christie was there for the people in the town. He should have given the man time. Plus name calling is totally unaceptable. Why do we have bullying policies if our own govenor doesn’t need manners or uses his weigtht. He could have politey said I am sorry sir, but could you please let me finish and thien you will be the next person I address? But no not him. he has no respect for the common folk.

  16. P.E. Rich says:

    Christie has two character defects. His impetuosity and his disrespect for anyone below the rank of governor.

  17. Mac says:

    Adam got a crush on Brown guy. hehehehehe… Brown… brown… what an idiot. This his not your show damn it. You asked your question and he answered as a governor and if you don’t like it, take it to the ballot box. Not shouting and distracting the town hall meeting.
    So he is ex navy-seal… wallahoo… does that mean he is above every other ordinary people. Just because he came back after killing many people, we should make him an icon. Stupid fools… this veteran thing is full of cow dung… no one give a damn except on 4th of July. So take a number and wait for your turn. What a bunch of losers.

    1. DarthEVaderCheney says:

      But..but…buttt…. we NEED our killing machine HEEEROES!!! Where else could they get paid so little for so little??? (You really are right on the mark! If these heroes really wanted to help, they’d stay in the USA and help clean up our country, including fat LARDA$$ Krispy!!!)

    2. MacFriut says:

      Mac is a poorly informed twit. He, like his hero, should sit before spinning.

    3. CLIFF BURKE says:


  18. Henry says:

    Both men ought to know that their conduct was unbecoming and counterproductive. Christie ought to know that his position as an elected official is a privilege and tenuous. He knows that he is smarter than most of his constituents, but that doesn’t make them idiots. He is obligated to maintain his composure. If he can’t do that, he can’t be governor. Mr. Brown is entitled to make a statement or ask a question. But, once he has said his piece, decorum calls for him to stop talking and listen. Shame on both of ’em.

    1. D says:

      Christie did not give the gentlemen a chance to finish his question and his point. Plus a “TOWN HALL” is a meeting with constituents to HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THEM, not just rant and belittle anyone who has a difference of opinion. CHRISTIE IS A JACK A55.

  19. joe mcneal says:

    Presidents DO NOT utter the word ‘idiot’ in a PUBLIC FORUM to describe an average person with whom they’re debating!! C’mon, PEOPLE, that’s a NO-BRAINER! I SAW the whole video, and context or OUT OF context, you can’t JUSTIFY a prominent public figure using that word! Unless, of course, he’s referring to a Osama Bin Laden-type enemy. Much less a FORMER NAVY SEALS!! Most likely a POSTER BOY FOR PATRIOTISM! Really, Cristie? Really?

  20. John says:

    They were both out of line. Both men could not control their emotions. There is nothing weaker than a person that has no control over their emotions. Calling somebody an idiot is childish and talking over someone is counter productive.

    1. MacFriut says:

      To John – Your points are valid. I do believe though that the elected official has a higher level to live up to and that this man let his “slip” show. Pun intended.

    2. Ann Mason says:

      At the moment, there are 70 comments on this topic on the CBS New York site alone. The fur is flying.

      All public officials should use caution with their behavior, in public and in private. Gov. Christie has proven himself an easy target for anyone who wants to exploit his temper. You can be sure that when he runs for reelection this will be an issue.

      If the audience member he argued with was as obnoxious as people say, tough. We all meet people who behave badly, and very few of us have security personnel to escort them out of the room. Gov. Christie did have that assistance, and he holds public office. Why did he have to vent rather than behave with dignity?

  21. aj says:

    Being a vet should not have influenced the Governor’s response. The man did not deserve any more or less respect/patience based on his vet status.

  22. UHHUH says:

    Here is my question to all the Kool aid drinkers out there: If you got pulled over by a cop, who called you an idiot, you’d go complain; you’d want him fired. If your mayor refused to hear your side of an issue, you would complain. Why then is it, that the governor, who is elected by us, works for us and is supposed to be serving us, is above the same standards that other public servants are held to? The day before he got elected governor and the day after he gets booted, or finally pops, he will be just another nobody..RESPECT IS EARNED, NOT AN ENTITLEMENT

  23. mj says:

    i’m just curious as to WHY it makes a difference that they guy is a vet. WHAT does THAT have to do with anything ?

    1. b says:

      What does it matter that Christie is Governor? It’s a concerned student/constituent/former vet and he deserves some f****** respect. If Christie can’t handle that in a more acceptable manner then he should get the f*** out of office. And he’s not just a vet, he’s a seal. Read up on what they do for this country.

      1. mj says:

        vet / seal / general infantry it has NO bearing in THIS situation. i’m NOT defending christie.

    2. SouthJerseyMom says:

      You’re right, the fact that he’s a vet and a Navy Seal should make no difference at all. Christie should treat ALL of his constituents with greater respect than he showed this man.

      The entire purpose of a town hall meeting is to meet with, and listen to, the constituents you represent. Christie was unwilling to listen to Mr. Brown’s point, choosing instead to condescend to him by instructing him as to what he, the almighty governor, had determined was going to happen. No input was needed, apparently, by Christie. So why hold a town hall in the first place? If all he intended to do was brag and tell what he had already decided was going to be done, despite any disagreement from the voters, he should have just held a press conference.

  24. M.O.M. says:

    Should be reporting on why kids a re shooting others in schools. This is why. American just can not converse with each other. Especially if one is an elected official. When will public officials become great role models?

  25. Benny Cohan says:

    I Think Mr Christie needs to lay off the Happy Meals

    1. MikeFD says:

      …… and the post-trip to Dunkin


    Christie was right on target as usual.

  27. DarthEVaderCheney says:

    The only governor in the USA except AZZ Brewer who thinks with his fat!! She thinks with her wrinkles!!!

  28. Ryan says:

    I’m going to defend Christie on this one. A military man and a student lawyer should know the code of conduct within a government facility. Whether or not you agree or disagree with the politician you are debating with, there must be some signs of respect for the politician. He is running your state after all. Also, I’m giving props to Christie for calling him an idiot. Though it be unprofessional, Mr. Brown was unprofessional himself and he deserved no sign of respect.

    1. adam says:

      No, idiot. The law student is a STUDENT. But governor cannot be calling his constituent like that. It is unprofessional, rude and obnoxious.

      1. Excessive law says:

        The student got what he deserved. Call it as it is. A disrespectful person deserves no place in a debate.

        1. adam says:

          Who care? He’s only a STUDENT. It just happens that this student is an ex Navy Seal. So Krispy kreme won a student debate by bullying him out of a town hall meeting, but lost the respect as a governor.

          1. Excessive law says:

            No genius – he is a full grown adult. He sounds like one those rotten spoiled 99% ows protestor. Heckling at any age or place is frowned upon and just simply rude. Is manners not taught at home anymore

            1. D says:

              You must be a real joy to those around you…..NOT. You should be preaching your crud to Christie because he has shown repeatedly, and there is PLENTY of video to PROVE it, that he is a disrespectful, overbearing, rude, obnoxius gasbag.

              1. Rude says:

                I know its hard for many people to focus at what happenned and have a natural hate for the governor or think a baby ‘s feeling was being hurt. The little boy was out to make a scene and got spanked rightly so. The boy should be embarassed and the school should punish him for it

  29. Chris says:

    Gotta re-post what Kim wrote because it’s all that needs saying:

    I don’t care if the guy was a war vet, or the man in the moon. He was obviously not there to ask a question and receive an answer. Chris Christie does have the bully mentality once in awhile because he does not always have the finesse we expect from a politician. This law student/vet/second coming/whatever was acting like an exceptional idiot, because even the average idiot knows not to heckle the guy with the microphone.

    Well said.

    1. adam says:

      If the ex Navy seal is an idiot then Crispie creme is not any better. At least Brown is only a STUDENT. Governor is supposed to be professional and more mature, not worse.

  30. JH says:

    Christie’s comment, “Damn, man.. I’m the govenor could you just shut up for a second!?” exemplifies a fundamental problem: Government officials believe they know best, and (in Mr. Christie’s words when referring to ex-Navy SEAL, Mr. Brown) we’re all “idiots”.

    The “brilliance” of our leaders has created $ trillions in debt, all-but-broken entitlement programs, a non-exist energy policy, a breaking infrastructure, and damaged educational system…. clearly – our leaders do NOT always know best!

    I am constantly astounded by the hubris of our public officials. If Christie is going to put himself in a public forum like this, AT LEAST show some respect to those who pay his salary!

    1. teacher says:

      i think the gov acted like a bully. He sounded ponpous like our president. I have been through 13 presidents and I never heard one say “I am the president” We know he is. I think he should have been respectful to this hero. The gov is a public servant and he can be replaced.

  31. M.A.D says:


  32. Robert V Barnes says:

    He’s a politician I love to hate! He’s the epitome of what my parents taught me about Republicans, way back in the 50’s and 60’s. Republicans are “fat cats” that don’t care about anyone else but themselves and their rich friends. In Governor Christie’s case he’s the “OBESE Cat.” He’s an example of the excesses of the rich at the expense of the rest of us. BTW, I’m a retired, 28 years service, US Army Infantry Officer. Not all of us are war mongers, aka the Navy pilot who fought from 30,000 feet (before being a POW) Senator McCain. They lead our service members into wars that can NEVER be won. But those wars make their friends in the military-industrial complex richer, including Lady Bird Johnson from the Vietnam War. Fat Cats who don’t care about anything but their greed, too much money and food, at the expense of the rest of us.

  33. trj says:

    just becauce chris christie is a governor don’t make him God. i am a vet just like brown is and if i don’t like the b/s going on in this country and the scandals of
    politicians i would sound off too. I stand behind my brother and if christie don’t
    watch his mouth he’s gonna be up sh** creek.they are fighting in the other countries and i don’t mind fighting here lets do it

  34. Thom Meeker says:

    Oh I forgot ……….what is Mr Christie’s service record ? How much time did he spend in the combat zone ? Just another Republican ……..Lets have a war …..but YOU go do the bleeding .

    1. Chris says:

      If we take a quick look at the Presidents that began involvement in Vietnam, you’d find Democrats. Check out the escalation in troop levels that occurred during Johnson’s presidency. Though I think all politicians need to think long and hard about the lives of U.S. troops before sending them into combat.

      1. adam says:

        well, i live in the Iraq and Afghan wars era, I remember who lied to Americans and get our 5,000 service members killed. And I served in the USMC honorably with a combat tour in Afghan. As a governor, if you don’t want the guy to keep interrupting you, you should try something like this: “Hey, I’m talking. Can you be quiet for a minute until I’m done. If the guy is still interuptting, tell the cops to escort him out.” It’s that simple. A Navy Seal loses his temper can result in loss of lives. A fat ass governor loses his temper deserves to lose his job.

  35. Thom Meeker says:

    What do you expect from a Republican ? If you disagree you are an IDIOT . ALL Republicans see it that they are the only opinion that matters and the only one that should be heard . Mr Brown had served his country and now that his service was over he was considered by Republicans to be of no further use .

    1. Marty-o says:

      Sounds like the Democrats as well.

    2. Chris says:

      I see you must be a Democrat. This is not an issue about Christie’s “disrespect” for the military. Though this is what some people would like the issue to be.

      Try to avoid blanket statements about “ALL Republicans” or any group for that matter. An assumption about all the members of any particular group is usually wrong.

      1. adam says:

        I agree with you that Christie didn’t mean to disrespect a military vet. It just happened that the dude he called an idiot is a decorated war vet. However, even if he wasn’t an ex Navy Seal, as a governor, fat ass Krispy should never call anyone like that at a Town Hall meeting.

  36. SugarRep says:

    It’s the mayor’s show; be courteous. If you want to shout like Springeresque trash, Navy SEAL or not, you deserve to be kicked out. Anyone who blasts Christie for his actions, I guarantee not one of you would have acted much differently had you been in the governor’s shoes.

    1. SugarRep says:

      Excuse me … governor’s show …

  37. Mikeybklyn says:

    The pothole problem in NJ has never been worse.

  38. Nate G says:

    Any one in a public office should not call people idiots. However, the audience member was being very discourteous, rude, and was obviously not there to get his questions answered, but rather to stir up a shouting match. He was rightfully expelled from the meeting. If you’re going to act like child, then you should get treated like a child, regardless if he is a law student, or war veteran, or whatever. You’d think he’d have better manners being in the military.

    1. di says:

      Governor Christie is a PUBLIC SERVANT……It appears that all of these Republican servants have forgotten their place…..It’s not surprising that these pompous politicians will show no respect for our military men when they openly disrespect the Office of the President of the United States…The GOP is a group like no other, and they are frightening.

      1. Chris says:

        Its not about Republican or Democrat. Most politicians have inflated egos.

        Regardless of what the guy did in Iraq, he was being an f-head at the town hall meeting. It’s not even an issue of “respect for our military men.” Though it seems this is the issue you want to be attacking.

        Not sure what you mean when you state that “these pompous politicians…openly disrespect the Office of the President of the United States.” I’ll have to assume you are talking about attacks on Obama. There is a complete difference when it comes to disrespecting the office itself vs. criticizing the actions that the commander in chief has taken.

        1. adam says:

          the dude can be a hippie liberal crack head or whatever. Bottom line is he’s only a student, but a governor should not call a constituent an IDIOT at a town hall meeting. Understand?

  39. Ann Mason says:

    I wasn’t there when it happened, and don’t see anything on the page to click for video. However, regardless of how the audience member behaves, a public official shouldn’t react that way. It’s unprofessional, and at the very least a fit of temper can be exploited by one’s political detractors.

    Okay, I’m biased. I’m still upset with Governor Christie for suggesting the voters should decide whether the right to marry should be extended to same sex couples. Does he understand that the LGBT population is human?

    Now I’m beginning to wonder if New Jersey’s governor is clueless about a lot of things.

    1. Nate G says:

      Except that if we were all LGBT, then the human race would eventually cease to exist as procreation would stop. Kinda hard to make a baby with 2 guys or 2 gals. just saying.

      1. Ann Mason says:

        I hope you aren’t suggesting that recognizing same sex marriage will turn everyone gay. It isn’t gonna happen.

    2. Chris says:

      You probably should hear what the SEAL said to get the full picture. Regardless, I think the statement about public officials gets away from the real issue that most politicians present: dishonesty. At least with Christie, you get straight answers and some honest emotion. He’s not afraid of controversy or debate on sensitive issues.

      Love the spin that CBS puts right in the article’s title. The “Iraq Vet Law Student”. The guy was being an ass. Of course, media outlets will only show you the portion of video where Christie is speaking.

      1. adam says:

        Yeah, blame it on the media for showing what happened. The ex Navy Seal was only a STUDENT. Krispy Kreme was a governor. Governors don’t call their constituents IDIOT in a town hall meeting.

  40. Big G says:

    Further proof Fred Flinstone is NOT presidential material.

  41. steve says:

    put chris in the white house and he will press the button. he has no control of his feelings.the fat has gotten to his brain. he is not a man at all. he is starting to think his position as governor, he can say what he wants. fat pig he is. I would love to fase the fat man!

    1. Chris says:

      Your in-depth analysis is enlightening. Your repetitive use of the word ‘fat’ is very effective.

  42. Kim says:

    I don’t care if the guy was a war vet, or the man in the moon. He was obviously not there to ask a question and receive an answer. Chris Christie does have the bully mentality once in awhile because he does not always have the finesse we expect from a politician. This law student/vet/second coming/whatever was acting like an exceptional idiot, because even the average idiot knows not to heckle the guy with the microphone.

  43. Bob Newell says:

    If you are the Governor of New Jersey, as Governor Chris Christie is, you are to be respectful of his office! Even if you disagree with the Governor on an issue there are ways you must conduct yourself. Mr. Brown, is in fact an “Idiot”

    1. Big G says:

      Much like everyone respects the office of the president of the United States???

  44. Christie: the Governor that ate NJ says:

    What’s the difference between Governor Christie and the Hindenburg­­?

    One is an enormous bag of hot gas that caused one of the greatest tragedies in the history of New Jersey. The other was a Zeppelin.”

  45. Jay Dee says:

    Chris Christi is a bully….every time I see him in an interview or meeting, he comes across as a thug! He called some members of the occupy movement “jokers” who want some kinda changes. Some may disagree with some of these interruptive measures, but we are in desperate times! Calling someone an ‘idiot’ is outrageous behavior for a public official! Then trying to justify the comment by telling a reporter “damn,I’m the governor”! He just admitted to using his government position to conduct himself as a rude dictator!!!

    1. Gloria says:

      Very well said and coulldn’t agree with you more. It is his demeanor that pprovokes people to act the way they do. Agree with him or else. And I don’t think he really cares what he says or does…he thinks he’s God.

  46. None Of Your Business says:

    The man asked Governor Christie a question and then apparently refused to allow Governor Christie to answer. This is one time I agree with a Republican: the man is an idiot. If you ask someone a question, don’t try to override him when he’s attempting to answer you.

  47. karen says:

    hey gov, your stock has gone waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down. the day you start calling war veterans idiots is the day your stock falls into the junk bond category. he may have been out of line, but you showed little to being an educated “man” with class. Have you worn the country’s uniform, served in a war zone, in harm’s way? I think not. you and rush limbaugh are in a tie for big bad mouth of the week. bash a vet & nypd in the course of 1 week (dad was nypd for 30+ years, a law school grad who served the last 12 years in the queens & manhattan courts). glad the only time i go through new jersey, it’s on an acela train.

    1. Nate G says:

      Whoa, wait a minute. He didn’t call a war veteran an idiot. He called a rude, interrupting, disturbance-creating individual an idiot. This “war veteran” should know what the word respect means and should not have started the shouting match. This “war veteran” did not act like a war veteran, but acted like a selfish spoiled little brat. My 4 year old has better manners.

      1. SugarRep says:

        Hear, hear, Nate.

      2. adam says:

        Oh, so a governor can call his constituent an IDIOT in a public debate now? Is that appropriate by your standard?

  48. Chris says:

    I commend Brown for his service to our country! However, I do not believe he was a SEAL. They are trained to keep their composure! If Brown was out of line I’m all for Christie coming back at him; however, as a my Gov. whom I admire, don’t call a constituent an idiot out loud in public! Do that in private with your staff and family!

    1. adam says:

      You don’t believe he was a SEAL??? Does Brown have to show his military record to you now? Brown is a STUDENT, NOT A GOVERNOR.

  49. Steve Stern says:

    its hard to comment without being at the meeting, but if you ask the Governor a question at a town hall meeting you should give the governor the respect of being given the opportunity to answer the question. However, the governor should not have used the word ‘idiot’ because that is disrespectful to the vet, the governor should have said ‘unbelievable’ instead of ‘idiot’. So we have two wrongs here. So by operation of law when you have two wrongs, there is no right answer.

  50. Kazoo says:

    the gov was right, Brown was rude and acted like an IDIOT. thank you for your service but next time act respectful.

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