New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, according to recent polls, is the most unpopular governor in America. Apparently, that extends beyond his own state. Sunday, the maverick politician found himself at a Milwaukee Brewers game, being heckled mercilessly by local fans. And true to form, Christie didn’t take the abuse sitting down. Instead, he got in the face of a heckling fan, with nachos in hand.
The governor was walking toward his seat with a fresh batch of nachos when he heard the verbal abuse. And rather than looking the other way, he approached the heckler in question, a Brewers fan named Brad Joseph. Christie, nachos still in hand, got in Joseph’s face, calling him a “big shot.” Joseph responded, “I appreciate that.”
A relative of Joseph’s was sitting nearby. He was a local news reporter for WISN12, by the name of Ben Hutchinson. Because the event unfolded quickly and without notice, Hutchinson was not prepared to video the exchange. But when things became heated, his news reporter instincts kicked in. So he started filming the interaction between governor and fan, well into the confrontation. So most of what happened was not caught on film.
But Hutchinson and Joseph are happy to fill in the blanks.
Joseph admitted he provoked the governor by saying, “You suck!” Then he called him a “hypocrite.” Why did he do this? Joseph said, “I thought it needed to be said.”
And then he detailed what came next.
“He turned around back towards me and got in my face for what seemed like a long time, but it was probably only about 30 seconds or a minute. He was yelling at me. First, he told me, ‘Why don’t you have another beer?’ which I thought was a decent comeback, and I thought that it was kind of funny. Then he started calling me a tough guy.”
This is not a first for Christie, whose son works for the Brewers organization. Just a couple of weeks ago, on July 18, fans at Citi Field in New York loudly booed Christie after he grabbed a foul ball during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets.
In Christie’s defense, he ought to be able to attend America’s past time without suffering verbal abuse. Beyond that, in terms of the governor’s response, there’s not much defense.