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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie revels in his bullying style, as do most conservatives, but it's really starting to backfire on him. Verbally beating up on teachers and school administrators and other public servants makes him huggable with the psychos who watch John Stossel, but to the general public it makes him about as huggable as Lotso.
One example came back in April, when Chris Christie urged reporters to 'take the bat' to 76-year-old widow.
Isn't he so sweet? Earlier this week, Christie took more flack for the way he treated a woman who called in complaining about the way he's slashing funds to public education while sending his kids to private school.
On the Today Show this morning, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) defended his belittling of a constituent who asked the governor if he sends his kids to private or public school. Christie has slashed public education spending so severely that the state Supreme Court overruled him.
However, when the woman called into a local TV interview Christie was giving this month to see if he understood first-hand the devastating effects of his cuts, the governor went off on the woman, angrily saying, “Hey Gail, you know what, first of all it’s none of your business.” Christie sends his kids to private school. This morning, Today Show host Matt Lauer brought up the incident, asking, “Why isn’t it a fair question?” “Her point is completely ridiculous,” Chrisitie snapped, calling the woman “nonsensical.”
GREGORY: Now I'm familiar with the substance of you what said, which is you're a taxpayer. You pay-- property taxes. You're the governor of everybody. You're working for the best public schools for everybody. For religious reasons-- you and your wife decided to send your kids to parochial schools. My question is more about your temperament. Is-- should the chief executive speak to people that way?
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE: Damn right he should. You know why? Because this is who I am. And the public knows they get it straight from me. And so what I said to her was, "Don't question my wife and my-- and my parenting decisions." That's the most personal thing that you can say to someone. You're a father. You know this.
These parenting decisions we make from the heart. There's no one more precious in my life than my wife and my four children. And when we make those decisions, that's not appropriate for public inquiry. I made that decision because I believe, David, in my heart, that's the right thing.
And so you know what? I am very blunt, I am very direct and you know what? So was she. And you look at her tone and her demeanor in that question, so was she. She's questioning my ability as a public officer holder to make decisions about every child in New Jersey and their public education because my children go to parochial school? Well, I went to public schools in New Jersey. I'm a product of the public schools. And so you're-- you know what? Absolutely. I wish more people in public life would respond just that way.
DAVID GREGORY: But authenticity is one thing. But we all can be better in the public square -- how we interact with people. Are you too abrasive? Are you too stubborn? Are you too-- tough when it comes to people questioning you?
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE: I'm huggable and loveable, David. I am not abrasive at all. I-- listen, I'm honest. And I wish we had more of it in politics. You know what people are tired of in politics? They're tired of blow dried-- tested answers that are given by political consultants to politicians and everybody sounds the same. (BABBLING) And everybody sounds the same.
He's just lying when he says he's not abrasive and he knows it. Conservatives love a mean-spirited bully as a politician and that's why they've been begging him to run in 2012. He can't hide from ugly incidents like this even if the national press has been slobbering all over him.
I realize much of the D.C. press corps is crushing on Christie. But before they announce that "people" are responding to the governor's "plain talk," pundits might want to find out if that response extends beyond their professional class.
Everybody remembers how Toy Story 3 ends, right? Lotso's new home is on the front grill of a truck. And the entire audience cheers.
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