WATCH: NJ Gov. Chris Christie Tells Heckler to 'Sit Down And Shut Up'

He fired back at a former councilman who held up a sign.

ByABC News
October 29, 2014, 5:50 PM

— -- This is why some people love him ... and some people hate him.

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, appearing along the Jersey Shore to mark the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, got heckled by a local activist and former councilman.

So Christie did what he does -- fire back.

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“I’m glad you had your day to show off, but we’re the ones who are here to actually do the work,” Christie said from behind an official podium placed in a Belmar, N.J., intersection. "So turn around, get your 15 minutes of fame and then maybe take your jacket off, roll up your sleeves and maybe do something for the people of this state."

Christie summed up: “So listen, you want to have the conversation later, I’m happy to have it, buddy. But until that time, sit down and shut up.”

The target of the governor’s ire was James Keady, a Democrat and former Asbury Park city councilman who interrupted Christie’s event while holding a sign that read: "Stay in New Jersey, Finish the Job."

Known for his pugnacious style (he’s publicly argued with a boardwalk passer-by while holding an ice cream cone), Christie saw his national profile and local popularity soar because of his in-command leadership in the wake of Sandy.

Though critics have questioned his administration’s performance in dealing with the storm, Christie points to the post-Sandy period as Exhibit A in why he’s been a success.

Not everyone along the Jersey Shore sees it that way.

Keady, 43, told ABC News he was not put up to his appearance by anyone. He insisted he did not say anything to prompt the governor’s tirade, saying he was just holding a sign.

After Christie went after him, Keady said he invited Christie for a conversation over a burger and a beer and his family’s bar in Barnegat Light.

“Look, I’m not afraid to take stands. I’ve been an activist my entire life,” said Keady. “I’m 6-4, 215 pounds. A former athlete. He tried to do his normal bullying thing to me. His normal routine of bullying old ladies isn’t working with me."

Keady said his protest was meant to shine a light on problems with the state’s billion-dollar program set up to get homeowners displaced by Sandy back on their property.

The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment.