On Friday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who faces re-election next year, signed the fiscal budget
, which begins Sunday. The budget consists of $31.7 billion in spending, $400 million less than originally proposed earlier this year.
The Republican Governor criticized the state legislature for not enacting a 10 percent income tax cut he proposed in the budget and instead state lawmakers passed a property tax cut. Using his line-item vetoes, Christie got rid of an earned-income tax credit for the working poor, energy tax receipts for municipalities to aid their property taxes and a millionaires’ tax.
“Simply wishing for more money to pay the bills is a reckless, childish, guaranteed path towards financial disaster,” said the governor in a statement
. “I am unwilling to surrender the gains we have made to establish fiscal responsibility in the state budget by raising taxes on our people at a time when they need and deserve tax relief.”
Christie held a news conference Saturday that was related to an emergency
at a Monmouth County water treatment facility. Reporters were told to keep their questions related to the topic at hand. One reporter, who was later identified as Chris Harris from the Bergen County Record, asked an off-topic question: will Christie address the state legislature Monday.
The governor, who is known for his no holds barred attitude, responded
, “Did I say on topic? Are you stupid? On topic, on topic. Next question.” Upon ending the press conference, Christie took one last shot at the reporter: “Thank you all very much, and I’m sorry for the idiot over there.”
Harris went to Twitter
to confirm he was the reporter in question.
“Just to clear this up, I am the reporter Gov. Christie called an idiot over the weekend,” the Record journalist wrote. “And no, my feelings were not hurt.
“People asking me if I wasn't paying attention and missed the Governor's instructions Saturday. I was well aware of his mandate. I ask questions that need to be asked when they need to be asked -- regardless of last minute conditions.”
This isn’t the first time that Christie has told a person in public that they were an idiot.
During a town hall meeting in March
over the governor’s plan to merge two public universities, William Brown, a former Navy veteran who attends Rutgers-Camden for law, said he was worried that the merger would hurt the value of his degree.
After Brown asked his question, the governor was responding, but was continually interrupted by the law school student. This prompted Christie to give one of his signature rants and call the veteran an “idiot.”
“Let me tell you something, after you graduate from law school, you conduct yourself like that in a courtroom, your rear end is going to be thrown in jail, idiot,” said the governor. “You know, I tried to be patient with the guy. Every time I tried to answer, he started yelling over me again. Damn, man, I'm governor, could you just shut up for a second?”
There has been speculation
that Christie is on the top of the list as a potential running mate for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.