POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Christie Faces Demonstrators at Kenilworth Town Hall

By David Cruz
Correspondent

He still gets the rock star standing ovation he’s used to, but Gov. Chris Christie is like the crooner forced to sing the same old song week after week in order to sell some albums.

“So when you get these complaints from public employees about Gov. Christie should pay the pension, let me tell you something. These public employees should be sending me a thank you note. I’m the first guy who’s put significant money into this pension system,” Christie said.

The governor is threatening to hold a town hall meeting a week until the end of the fiscal year in June, and he’s expected to sing his greatest hits, like these.

“We bought things we couldn’t afford and we had no plan on how to pay for them. You pay 82 percent of the cost for my health benefits. We have to freeze the pension system now. No new members. No new members under the fine benefit system,” he said. “Listen, if you’re not a millionaire but you want to feel like one, come to New Jersey. Come to New Jersey.”

Even the occasional demonstrations. Kids from Newark’s public schools started shouting during the town hall, chanting, “Arrest Christie!”

And other demonstrators were for immigrant rights.

But like any road show by an experienced performer, a governor’s town hall can always have its vintage Christie moments.

Here’s an exchange with, somewhat predictably, a school teacher: “I’m not here to be bullied,” the teacher said.

“By the way, you’re not being bullied,” Christie replied. “Because you’re asking me questions, I get to ask you questions back. If you’re gonna make an assertion of fact, as a teacher who people in the community respect as a truth teller, then I’d like to know where you get your information. To say to this entire group I know you could’ve gotten more money.”

“From my reading. If I’m wrong, governor could you please enlighten me?” she asked.

With a dozen or show of these events still on the schedule, the governor seems determined to just play the hits at venues mostly packed with fans who already know all the lyrics.