Maybe New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should just stay away from ballparks and beaches, not to mention bridges.
The month of July hasn’t been very kind to the governor. First, Christie angered New Jerseyans by spending part of the July 4 holiday lounging on a popular state beach that was closed to everyone else due to a partial government shutdown. The internet memes created from a photo of Christie relaxing in his beach chair quickly went viral.
And then there was the foul ball the governor caught at Citi Field earlier this month that elicited loud boos from the crowd. Even one broadcaster couldn’t help making a sly commentary: “Nice to see him get from the beach here to the ballpark.”
Now, at yet another baseball game at Milwaukee’s Miller Stadium over the weekend, Christie, bowl of nachos in hand, got within inches of a heckling Cubs fan to give him a piece of the gubernatorial mind.
In a video of the incident posted on Twitter, it’s difficult to hear, but Christie says “You’re a big shot,” to the man, identified as Brad Joseph, who is wearing sunglasses and a Cubs jersey. “I appreciate that,” Joseph is heard saying sarcastically.
Speaking with WISN 12 News, Joseph says he saw Christie coming up the stairs: “I yelled his name and told him that he sucked … I called him a hypocrite because I thought it needed to be said.”
Joseph said Christie made contact with his knee and asked if he wanted to “do something” or “start something.”
“(He) was yelling at me. First he told me, ‘Why don’t you have another beer?’ which I thought was a decent come back, and I thought that was kind of funny,” says Joseph. “Then he started calling me a tough guy.”
Even before “beachgate,” Christie was experiencing some of the lowest approval ratings of any governor in the country. In fact, they’ve been falling more-or-less steadily since his 2013 reelection, followed quickly by Bridgegate.
And Christie, who can’t run again due to term limits, hasn’t shown much empathy either over what NJ.com describes as “the global outrage” over the beach episode. In a radio interview last week, the governor said the flap has hurt his family and that he’s avoided looking at the internet memes that have emerged as a result.
He said in Thursday’s broadcast of Ask the Governor on NJ 101.5 FM that his family has been “more hurt by this latest episode than they’ve been hurt by anything else that has happened in the eight years and they don’t understand people’s unfairness and, quite frankly, their ignorance.”