Christie apologizes for calling NJ mayor ‘crazy’
While campaigning for president at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire Monday night, Gov. Chris Christie called North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello “crazy” because the mayor claimed that flooding in his Cape May County town was worse after the recent weekend snow storm than it was after Superstorm Sandy. Tuesday morning, Christie made things right.
“I take heat for what I say all the time and sometimes it’s deserved and sometimes it isn’t,” Christie said. “I called the mayor this morning and I apologized to him. He accepted.He’s a long time friend. I got carried away last night at a town hall meeting and it’s not the first time that I’ve gotten carried away and said something that I later apologized for. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens.”
The quickly-diffused war of words started when Rosenello ripped Christie for heading back to the Granite State to continue campaigning for president right after the storm, when North Wildwood was still struggling with massive flooding. At a State House press conference Tuesday afternoon to announce legislation to save Atlantic City, Christie also explained how and why he apologized to Rosenello.
“The reason for my apology was because I really felt badly about it. When I had a night to sleep on it I didn’t feel good about what I said about him and so, I called and apologized to him. I feel badly. I’ve known him for a long time. I’ve known him for seven years,” Christie explained.
The governor stood by his contention that the flooding was not worse than the flooding after Sandy. He said it wasn’t even in the ballpark, but admitted he should’ve stopped there when responding.
“Where I think I went overboard, I apologized and when I called my old friend Patrick Rosenello crazy at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire that was over the top,” Christie said. “It was a little bit of one adjective too many. Usually for me that’s like three adjectives short of what I usually do, but It merited an apology and I gave one.”
At the same town hall, Christie was questioned by a woman about why he left New Jersey to head back to New Hampshire when there were storm-related problems across the Garden State. After asking if she thought he should be in the streets with a mop, Christie defied the woman to explain where she got her information. She said she had phone numbers of friends and family in New Jersey who could talk about the damage. Christie said he offered to call those friends and family, but the woman refused to give the phone numbers.
“I think she was a plant,” the governor said Tuesday.
Kevin McArdle has covered the State House for New Jersey 101.5 news since 2002. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @kevinmcardle1.