New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stood by his temper in a Q&A at the Conservative Political Action Conference today, noting that the White House should be told to shut up.
Fielding questions before the audience of conservative activists from radio host Laura Ingraham, Christie was asked about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s seesaws on social issues and asked how he would be as a socially conservative candidate.
“I just stand on my record. I’m pro-life. I ran as a pro-life candidate,” he said, adding that he was the first New Jersey governor ever to speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of statehouse.
“People make certain assumptions because … you’re a Republican from New Jersey. Don’t believe what the media will tell you that you can’t get elected as a pro-life candidate.”
Ingraham asked him about some of the descriptors that even his friends use about him: “explosive,” “short-tempered,” “hot-headed.”
“Here’s the word they miss: the word they miss is passionate. I’m the son of a Sicilian mother and an Irish father which means in my household I got to learn about dispute resolution really early,” Christie said. “…I care about fighting for the people I represent. I care about the fights worth fighting.”
He stressed that he has no political consultant in his ear “like Charlie Brown’s teacher.”
And of his October comments to a heckler at a press conference? “Sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up… there’s so much ridiculous stuff being spewed out of the White House someone should say just shut up.”
Christie also answered questions about education and focusing on the middle class as far as job creation.
He was also asked about his deep polling deficit among potential 2016 candidates.
“Is the election next week?” Christie quipped, citing his big totals in gubernatorial races. “I’m not worried about what polls say 21 months before.”
If he runs, the governor said, he’ll wage a “hard-fighting” campaign. “I’ll take my chances on me,” he said. “I’ve done pretty well so far.”
Christie cited early polls for the 2008 election that showed a race between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.
He also said he’s not concerned about Jeb Bush’s fundraising power. “Sometimes those special interests, more than anything they hate the truth,” he said.
Yesterday Christie held his 128th townhall meeting with no screened questions. “That the kind of interaction we should have with the people we’re working for.”
Asked what he gave up for Lent, Christie quipped he told his priest he was giving up the New York Times — but was told to give up something he’d actually miss instead.