PORT MONMOUTH (PIX11) – Prior to Thursday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had hosted 109 town halls. None though, had the type of media coverage as the 110th in Port Monmouth where all eyes were focused on the polarizing Governor, “There may be people in this room who disagree with me on something or hold a different opinion and that’s fine. That is what this is all about. That is what we’re here for, is to have a conversation to have an exchange,” said Governor Christie at the beginning.
The conversation began with Sandy and Governor Christie was as he often is, candid. The questions ranged from autism to family law. However, most of the conversation circled back to Sandy, where Governor Christie delivered this one-liner, “FEMA is the new F-word.”
At some points of the town hall Governor Christie didn’t have the answers, so on those occasions he had a supporting cast there to pivot to with answers as well as responsibility.
As one woman talked about her mother’s recent passing and the fight to get back after Sandy, Governor Christie showed compassion. Minutes later he poked the finger at himself joked about some weighty issues, “I said thank you and she said, when are you going to get really small?” That one had the whole room laughing.
There was a bit of pestering. At times Washington D.C. got thrown under the bus, with the Governor attributing the delays to Sandy reconstruction to two parties, “The President of the United States and Congress.”
Surprisingly, there was not one questions on Bridgegate. That didn’t stop Isabel Newsin from unveiling a single sheet of paper that simply read “Resign Christie.” Afterwards, Newsin explained her reasoning, “It’s because I want him to see that there are people out there who really don’t want to him in office anymore and we’re sick and tired of the lies that he’s been invoking on us.” While law enforcement tried to get her to put the sign away, Newsin never did. Governor Christie ignored it.
Afterwards when asked if he was surprised that he did not receive one question on Bridgegate, the Governor said “no” adding, “People care about real problems.”
Then he disappeared behind a blue curtain to the music of Bruce Springsteen.