Chris Christie likes to go to sporting events, something a quick Getty Image search of “Chris Christie” under sports photos will confirm (394 photos in total). As the governor of New Jersey and a one-time close ally of Donald Trump during his campaign, Christie has plenty of detractors and sometimes finds himself being heckled at the sporting events he attends.
That was the case at Sunday’s Cubs-Brewers game that Christie attended when he happened to finally have enough and let a fan in the stands have it. A video of the verbal altercation was captured as Christie stood extremely close to the fan to give him a piece of his mind (all the while, clutching his bowl of nachos) which proved to be fairly hysterical.
The Cubs fan that got lectured by Christie was Brad Joseph, who took to his Facebook page on Monday to explain exactly what went down to cause the bizarre confrontation between he and the governor. As Joseph tells it, it was a “You suck!” heckle that earned him the wrath of Christie along with later calling him a “hypocrite.”
Some other fans at the game were already heckling him, so I yelled his name and he turned around, at which point I shouted “You Suck!” and then I sat back down. A few minutes passed and he returned to his seat. He got a few rows farther down from where I was sitting and he paused for awhile; there was nobody blocking his path and no reason for him to be blocking the aisle and our view of the game. At this point I told Christie that he was a “hypocrite.”
I was seated at the end of our row, and Christie turned around and made his way up the few steps that separated us. As he approached he looked at me and said “Have another beer,” which caused me to laugh, since I thought it was a decent comeback under the circumstances despite the fact we hadn’t been drinking at all, but Christie quickly made it clear that he wasn’t joking around. He came a few inches from my face and began to call me a “big shot,” and a “tough guy,” and asking “what are you gonna do now?” He was close enough that I could feel his breath on my face as he shouted at me. He never denied being a hypocrite. Then, his right foot stepped well outside of the aisle and into our row, and he began to hit my leg with his knee in an aggressive fashion.
At this point I heard someone ask “what is going on?” to which I turned and calmly replied, “well, this guy is accosting me.” Christie was incredulous at this characterization of the interaction, despite the fact that he was the one who initiated physical contact, and despite the fact that his tone and conduct were intended to provoke a reaction to which his security detail could respond. I sat calmly in the back of my chair as Christie became frustrated with my refusal to turn a verbal confrontation into a physical one. After calling me a big shot a few more times, he relented and turned away, as I thanked him for his opinion.
Joseph then claimed Christie’s security detail later came up to him and threatened to have him “locked up” before letting it go. Joseph also apologized for yelling “You suck” at Christie, noting that it wasn’t even a very good thing to heckle him with.
I’m not proud of my behavior today and I regret shouting “you suck!” at Christie. So Chris, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I didn’t have much time to think of anything to say, and I wanted to express my displeasure with you. I could have done better than “you suck.” What I do not regret is calling Chris Christie a hypocrite. This is a man who made a career out of demonizing public corruption only to become exactly what he denounced.
You can read his full response here, where he goes into more detail about the incident, and we’ll have to wait to see if Christie’s story matches up with Joseph’s.