New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, known for his tough talking style, snapped at a reporter because he asked a question unrelated to the nature of the press conference.
Reporters were told to keep the questions on topic and related to an emergency at a water treatment plant in Monmouth County. But when one reporter strayed from the after-effects of the storm in asking a question, Christie fired back.
“Did I say on topic? Are you stupid? On topic, on topic. Next question,” Christie said Saturday, clearly angry at the question.
According to ABC News video of the incident, the reporter asked if the governor was “going to be addressing the state legislature” on Monday. Christie is in the midst of a budget battle with state legislators and has called a special session in Trenton. But he did not want to talk about it at the press conference over the weekend.
Christie asked the group of reporters if they had any on topic questions before ending the press conference.
“Thank you all very much, and I’m sorry for the idiot over there. Take care,” Christie said before leaving the podium.
The reporter who asked the question, Chris Harris from the Bergen County Record, tweeted Monday he was the reporter who asked Christie the question.
Christie is known for a sometimes brusque style and has a history of getting angry at reporters and constituents. In March, Christie called a former Navy SEAL an “idiot.” Last year he got into a shouting match with a teacher when she asked the governor, “You don’t send your children to public schools. You send them to private schools, so I was wondering why you think it’s fair to be cutting funding to public schools?” Christie angrily replied that it was “none of your business.”
Mitt Romney tends to tease Christie about his style when the two campaign together. He did it just last Tuesday when the two appeared at a fundraiser together in the Garden State.
“That man really is something, you know that? I was hoping someone in here would start to heckle him so I could watch him go to town here. But you know better, don’t ya? What an extraordinary leader,” Romney said, according to a pool report.
This story has been updated to add the reporter’s name and tweet.