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Christie to heckler: 'Sit down and shut up'

By Eric Bradner, CNN
updated 9:01 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told a heckler Wednesday to "sit down and shut up"
  • The heckler was criticizing Christie's handling of the recovery from Superstorm Sandy
  • Local media identified the heckler as Jim Keady, a former Asbury Park councilman

Washington (CNN) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie once again flashed the pugnacious attitude that's made him a gladiator to some and a bully to others on Wednesday, telling a heckler to "sit down and shut up."

The heckler was criticizing Christie's handling of Superstorm Sandy on the second anniversary of the storm that devastated the state's coastline. He held a sign that said: "GET SANDY FAMILIES BACK IN THEIR HOME -- FINISH THE JOB."

The Democratic group American Bridge posted a video of the incident.

Christie warned the man that things would "get very interesting and very fun" if he didn't sit down -- but the heckler, seated in the front row during a speech in Belmar, wasn't deterred.

"I'd be more than happy to have a debate with you any time you like, guy, 'cause 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," Christie said. "I've been here when the cameras aren't here, buddy, and done the work."

Christie told the man he's "glad you had your day to show off," but that he needed to "turn around, get your 15 minutes of fame and then maybe take your jacket off, roll up your sleeves and maybe do something for the people of this state."

And Christie went on: "So listen, you want to have the conversation later, I'm happy to have it, buddy. But until that time, sit down and shut up."

The man appeared to speak directly to Christie, with Christie acknowledging him, before the man moved out of the crowd.

"I'll tell ya," Christie said in apparent response to the man, "there's about a thousand things I'll do tonight. Going to dinner with you is about number thousand and one."

Local news outlets identified the man as Jim Keady, a former Asbury Park councilman whose history of protests includes being deported from Indonesia after railing against Nike's labor practices in the country.

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