Tags: Trump Administration | New Jersey | Christie | 2016

Experts: Christie Hurt His 2016 Chances With Attack on Heckler

Friday, 31 October 2014 11:10 AM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has wrecked his presidential chances with his angry outburst against a Superstorm Sandy victim, according to political experts.

New York’s Daily News called the GOP governor “New Jersey’s biggest bully” and said that he was channeling The Sopranos’ character Tony Soprano when he shouted at a heckler, “Sit down and shut up.”

“This has always been the fatal flaw of Chris Christie’s presidential campaign,” Democrat strategist David Axelrod said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I’ve been through a few presidential races, and I’ve got to tell you, every day is filled with aggravations and provocations, and if that’s the way he’s going to react, he has no future in this.

“I think he thinks that this kind of ‘Sopranos’ approach to politics marks him as a strong leader. I think it marks him as an angry man.”

The Daily News said that Christie’s “thuggish style reared its ugly head” during a press conference in Belmar, N.J., marking the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated major areas along the Jersey shoreline.

The heckler, later identified as Democrat and former Asbury Park councilman Jim Keady, stood up holding a sign that read, "Get Sandy Families Back in Their Home - Finish the Job." He then heckled Christie over the slow distribution of federal funds to Sandy victims.

But Christie, who is expected to run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, fired back, “Somebody like you doesn't know a damn thing about what you're talking about except to stand up and show off when the cameras are here. I've been here when the cameras aren't here, buddy, and done the work.”

After Keady carried on heckling, the frustrated governor eventually told him to “sit down and shut up.” Keady was then removed from the crowd during the televised event.

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Noting that Christie’s outburst is the latest in a series of confrontations with voters, the Daily News said that experts believe his intimidation tactics will not go down well with conservative Americans.

Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey, told the Daily News, “I went back and looked at presidents who have been heckled. Universally, the response is the same: It is dignified, it is measured.

“I find it hard to believe that this kind of behavior will generate votes and render him a viable presidential candidate in those key primary states that tend to have a more conservative political culture.”

Manhattan psychotherapist Alan Bernstein said Christie’s reaction showed that he sees even the most minimal challenge to his authority as a larger threat.

“When he’s responding like that, believe it or not, the experience he’s having is of saving his own life,” Bernstein said. “I cannot imagine a president with this style. I think it would be a disaster.”

Lenox Hill Hospital clinical psychiatrist Alan Manevitz noted that bullies are often “arrogant,” “narcissistic” and “rigid.”

“Psychologically, people who bully may have been bullied themselves,” Manevitz told the Daily News. “They may have quickness to anger. They may mistake others’ actions as hostile.”

Keady told the newspaper on Thursday that he was not intimated by Christie’s attack, saying, “I'm 6-4, 215 pounds, former Division I and professional athlete.”

He said he was attempting to draw attention to the fact that the Christie administration has only distributed $220 million of $1.1 billion in federal aid to homeowners who were forced to abandon their homes after the epic storm.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has wrecked his presidential chances with his angry outburst against a Superstorm Sandy victim, according to political experts.
New Jersey, Christie, 2016
Friday, 31 October 2014 11:10 AM
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