EXETER, N.H., Jan 8 (Reuters) - Mitt Romney might want
to take a lesson from Chris Christie on how to handle protesters
at his Republican presidential campaign events.
When a gaggle of protesters interrupted Romney's campaign
rally speech at an Exeter high school, Romney declared politely
that it was "really unfortunate" and urged his supporters to get
loud and drown out his opponents' chants.
"I'm happy to have you guys express your views," Romney told
them as he campaigned days before the New Hampshire primary.
"Next time do it with more courtesy."
The protesters kept on shouting "Mitt kills jobs" and some
were escorted out, but the shouts did not stop.
Then it was New Jersey Governor Christie's turn to address
the overflow crowd jammed into the school gymnasium.
When a heckler yelled, "Christie kills jobs," Christie was
ready with a response - New Jersey style.
"Really?" Christie replied. Something may go down tonight
but it's not going to be jobs, sweetheart."
Christie, a potential vice presidential running mate should
Romney win the Republican presidential nomination, has emerged
as one of Romney's top surrogates on the campaign.
He deftly turned the protesters' complaints into criticism
against Democratic President Barack Obama, who will face Romney
or another Republican in next November's election.
Obama has "encouraged these people to be angry at Mitt and
angry at me because we stand up for what we believe in," he
"Mr. President, you're up there in the family quarters of
the White House, put your feet up and don't worry about it. Mitt
Romney is going to bring people together," said Christie.
The crowd roared its approval.
"He handled them just the way I would expect him too, an
intellectual beat-down," said Mike Gianino, 51, of Newton, New
Hampshire. "I think Christie is just the right amount of punch."
(Reporting By Steve Holland and Jason McLure; Editing by Eric
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