Heated Exchange At Town Hall Ends With Christie Calling Iraq Vet An ‘Idiot’

By Jim Melwert and Anne-Marie Green

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Things got testy at one of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s town hall meetings Thursday, when a shouting match ended with the governor calling an audience member an idiot.

It started with a question about the proposed Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University merger from second-year law student and Iraq War veteran, William Brown.

But as Christie began to explain the reason for the merger, Brown tried to yell over him.

“What I’m doing is providing other opportunities for a bigger and better university,” Christie said.

As Brown continued to try to yell over the governor, Christie stopped trying to explain his position. “Let me tell you something, I can go back and forth with you as much as you want.”

And just before Brown was thrown out of the meeting, Christie gave the law student some unsolicited advice: “After you graduate from law school, you conduct yourself like that in the court room, your rear-end’s gonna get thrown in jail, idiot.”

Brown, who was a Navy SEAL and a former candidate for New Jersey State Assembly, was escorted out of the meeting by police without further incident.

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One Comment

  1. juju says:

    Somebody give the governor a sandwich. Keep him calm.

  2. TomLaffs says:


    The guy who Chris Christie called an idiot has quite a colorful background..

  3. bk says:

    Christie maybe “Governor” but I believe that any VET should never be called any names except HEROS.

  4. mmodica says:

    The issue at hand is much more important than who was right or wrong during this brief exchange. The Governor and others are proposing the hostile takeover of Rutgers-Camden by Rowan University. Rowan is in huge debt and needs Rutgers’ assets to bail it out. This plan will cost millions of taxpayer dollars and deprive South Jersey residents of the ability to attend a world-known research institution. We have a petition with over 11,000 names that shows the unpopularity of this scheme. More information and the petition can be found at http://www.r2rmerge.com/.

  5. Sean Duffy says:

    The reason for this merger is that Rowan foolishly bought into George Norcross’ plan to build a third-rate medical school in Camden, his dominion, and its bonds trade at junk status. It needs the tuition of hard working students and collateral on the buildings of Rutgers Camden to start an ill-conceived medical school. The merger will RUIN arts and sciences, law, and business education in south Jersey. It will demolish an institution that has existed in Camden for 68 years providing resources for an impoverished community, such as the Camden Scholar program that allows talented Camden high school students to get a Rutgers education. The merger is a political pay off from Christie to George Norcross, who only stands to line his pockets with the “billions and billions” it would require to make Rowan into a major research university. Please research this ridiculous plan and contact your local representatives…this will destroy higher education in South Jersey

  6. Sean Duffy says:

    “Rowan University’s debt per full-time student is $52,000, versus $23,000 for Rutgers students, says a Rutgers professor, who testified about the financial implications of a merger between Rowan and the Camden campus at a special meeting of the Rutgers University board of trustees last week. In speaking before the trustees, professor Eugene Pilotte of the Rutgers School of Business-Camden questioned how Rowan’s lower bond ratings and higher debt ratio will affect Rutgers in a proposed merger. The meeting was called after the university’s board of governors came to Camden two weeks ago and heard protests from students and faculty over the merger plan. The merger was envisioned by a commission of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey as part of an overhaul of the state’s higher education system. But the commission did not delve into the costs involved. During his comments to the trustees, Pilotte cited data from Moody’s Investment Services about the credit rating of Rowan’s bonds. “Last May, Moody’s issued an opinion that raises concerns about the size of Rowan’s debt, its ability to borrow more without affecting its credit rating, and its critical need to grow tuition revenue to service its debt,” Pilotte testified, according to a transcript he released. “Rowan University has used up its borrowing capacity, and its partner, Cooper Health System, has a credit rating one step above non-investment grade,” Pilotte said, according to the transcript. Rowan and Cooper have entered into a partnership to operate the new Rowan University School of Medicine, which is scheduled to open this summer. According to Pilotte, Moody’s has assigned Rutgers an Aa2 bond rating, Rowan a lower A2 rating and Cooper a Baa3 rating.

  7. cmb says:

    full audio here:
    support the school that Mr. Brown was defending here:
    http://www.r2rmerge.com/ , http://www.saverutgerscamden.org/

    The school is being taken away by the Governor to help Rowan University and Dem. & Cooper CEO George Norcross who joined together to build a medical school, but now they’re sinking in debt before it has even opened it’s doors. Norcross says that putting these two schools under the same banner will cost billions and billions in taxpayer paid bonds.
    The takeover of Rutgers-Camden is bad for the large number of veterans that attend this veteran friendly campus of Rutgers, The State University of NJ. It’s bad for all of the non-traditional students who can’t, for time or money, afford to attend a well-respected university. It’s bad for the impoverished city of Camden which only has a few positive things going for it (Rutgers-Camden is one of them). It’s bad when a Governor doesn’t listen to the people of his state and acts on his own accord just because he says so

  8. Al says:

    Christie is the Idiot.,…

  9. Frank says:

    Being a veteran does not preclude one from being an idiot.

    1. TheDan says:

      Apparently neither does being the Governor of New Jersey.

  10. Irish says:

    He lost any respect I had when he wanted the flag flown at 1/2 staff for Whitney Houston,that was a grave mistake,that should only be done for our fallen soldiers and 1st responders,me thinks Christie has no respect for any branch of the military,he is the idiot.

    1. JMADILL says:


      1. dbwelsh says:

        Just wanted to ask for some clarity on JMADILL’s post. It seems that many use the word “impeach” when they mean “remove from office. Impeaching a governor or president is to simply bring charges against them. It is the similar to an indictment by a grand jury, which is followed by a trial. What crime has he committed that would warrant impeachment. What evidence would be presented at the impeachment hearing ? As you may recall recently with President Clinton, he WAS impeached by the house, but there were not sufficient votes in the senate to remove him from office. Impeachment and removeal from office are two seperate things.

      2. uffdaron says:

        Why are you screaming??

        Your manners are slipping.

      3. OhGosch says:

        @ dbwelsh— And there were not enough votes because we have so many spineless and corrupt politicians. It certainly wasn’t for lack of offense.

    2. noname says:

      You are absolutly on point for that. that made me ill – i still think the person was out of line – but now that you brought that to mind, that’s minor in comparisson to the disrespect the gov. dished out for lowering the flag for a drug addict entertainer.

  11. MSG (R) says:

    Being a Vet doesn’t make you immune from being an Idiot. Funny how if you are a Vet who is on the Left you get a free pass, if you are a Vet who is on the Right then the MSM treats you like you are a Whacko.

  12. Seal says:

    This guy and Sandra Fluke need to date. A Seal on contraceptives. What do you get………….. A Seal….

  13. Eddie Z says:

    I think our governor is the idiot! This guy has been the crudest person in political history. Anyone in the public eye should at least act like they are human, Mr. Christie thinks he is above the law and his constituents. He looks down on everyone and thinks he can do what he wants,
    Mr. Brown was wrong to try to speak over the governor, but the governor was wrong to think the meeting was a court room! From what I can gather, neither person wanted to hear what the other was saying. The difference is: the governor was there to HEAR what the people were saying. THAT WAS HIS JOB!

  14. bill a says:

    We need more people like Gov. Christie in New Jersey politics.A republican who isn’t afraid of hurting the liberals feelings. I guess everybody isn’t seeing this as a heckler trying to get press. Why wouldn’t he just let the gov speak and then ask his question ? Because it doesn’t get headlines. We are smart enough to realize how liberals work. It HAS to be some kind of emotional story, somebody was angry, somebody had his feelings hurt or somebody was treated “unfairly”.,etc..and it’s easy to see the liberals here, they are the ones making fun of Christie’s weight or calling him names. They don’t have any real facts to knock him down, because the things he’s done have worked for us. Why is it so hard to give him credit for doing a good job ? And who thinks he’s wasted money ? I seem to remember how many democrat governors over my life have done nothing but cow to the teachers and to the unions in general until we have the mess we’re in right now. At least he is going after REAL reforms and saving us REAL money. You can cry about all kinds of things but when it comes down to the truth New Jersey is better off today than it has been in twenty years. When was the last time a governor suggested actually LOWERING our income tax ?

  15. Ed says:

    The sheep will back this idiot simply because they are told how to think. Sad they don’t even know it.

    1. Ed says:

      Of course the idiot is the vet in this case.

  16. noname says:

    are you serious John?, you one of those people who see something on TV and believe it’s the truth? just because he’s on Philly News? News is slanted. I don’t think in all my years of working with Military and retired Military including former Special Forces members i’ve ever seen them conduct themselves in such a manner as this person. He was not in control of himself or the situation. i’m not trying to protect Christie, I don’t think he needs protecting. he does fine all by himself.

  17. lee says:

    I think he should issue a public apologize. I can not stand him he is one of the worst Governors i have seen

  18. Hater says:

    I’ve noticed that almost all of Governor Christie’s criticism is over his weight. That’s all you got on him? Losers! How’s that skinny, clueless POS obama working out for you? As far as that rude SEAL is concerned, he needs to adjust his attitude, idiot.

  19. The truth says:

    Gov Crispy Creame will never become Vice President. Air Force Two will never be able to get off the ground!

    1. noname says:

      good one kid.

  20. ddd says:

    I love when some moron republician gets on the democrats. If it wasn’t for the almighty dollar symbol they would have nothing to pray to

    1. noname says:

      looks like the story was the other way around with the dem acting like a moron instead of a trained professional he claims to be trying to disrupt what is essentially his states commander giving a status update. .

    2. Ed says:

      Probably should have the article.

    3. John Moser says:

      You might want to learn to spell before you call anyone a moron. But, then again, you’re a moron.

  21. Monster69 says:

    It doesn’t matter if he was a seal or not, he was behaving like the Democratic party symbol. If you want respect you need also to give respect, and attempting to shout someone down when your argument falters is idiotic.

  22. Dave says:

    What has fat boy ever done for NJ other than waste taxpayers money. Becautious of what you wish or vote for.

    1. Lawrence says:

      Christi is one million times better than last governor. He is not a crook.

  23. uchusky99 says:

    If the guy was being unruly, he should have been removed. That does not mean that Christie should have continued fighting with him and calling him a name.

    Yes it must be frustrating to have people speaking over you and asking frustrating questions, but that is the job. Like child care. Kids can be really frustrating at times and they try to provoke you. That is the reality. If you are going to lose it and call them names when they do, child care is not the job for you.

  24. Dave says:

    Christ – e has nothing on his agenda but to squander tax payer hard earned $$$. NJ taxpayers/voters – beware

  25. Darryn James says:

    a seal should have self control, but i think he likes being a dem more then a seal.

  26. SICK OF IDIOTS says:

    Just because he’s a Vet doesn’t mean he can’t be an idiot! There are idiots and morons in in every walk of life. These people need to be called on their B.S. and not given any validation if they want to be treated with respect and common courtesy!

  27. Jim says:

    Didn’t this guy run for a political office assemblyman or something under the democratic banner? This would explain a lot of this.

  28. ms says:

    I will take him in Philly. Let him clean up what Nut ter and City council can’t.

  29. rorre says:

    Once again the Headline is more an attack on “Christie ” by Mr. Melwert. Christie calling an Iraq Vet an Idiot is questionable until you read the story and find out the Idoit was really an “IDIOT”— “IDIOT”

  30. Dadeo says:

    A whale calling a seal an idiot.
    Sounds like chubby can dish it out ,but has a problem tak’en it.

    1. kathy says:

      Dadeo, Christie might be fat but he atleat has enough courage to speak the truth. you are an Idoit. He is trying to make Nj a better place and all the media wants to do is bring him down. He is the only politician who does not give a rats ass ( your ASS) if you like him or not. For once someone who is actually there to work not parade around and tell people what they want to hear.The war vet as you call him was there for a reason to cause trouble ! and If you pick a fight with anyone you need to expect a fight.

    2. John Moser says:

      At least his fat isn’t between his ears.

    3. uffdaron says:

      All your prejuduces aside, the Governor showed far greater class and discipline than his harasser.

      One would hope a Nvay SEAL would have more public grace and dignity when speaking to a Governor, or anyone.

  31. noname says:

    Did anyone actually confirm this student’s background? Might be interesting to check with the Navy before lavishing such a high credential on him as Navy Seal. Where did you get the information from that he was a war veteran and Seal Team member? Behavior doesn’t sound like it corresponds with the high training, respect for authority or commanders that one would normally have – having completed such a distinguished service.

    1. Peter says:

      I’m not a big fan of Christie or his merger plan, but he is spot on here. There are probably twice as many guys who claim to be former seals than there ever were seals. Was this guy even in the navy or Iraq, let alone one of the Seals? And a lawyer cannot conduct himself like that in court. My law c=school dean, who was a liberal, would have held up this guys graduation until he could demonstrate an ability to think and act professionally. All he did was discredit the people who have well thought through arguments against merger

      1. john says:

        are you guys serious? yes, he’s a seal, he gives interviews on Philly news stations all the time. STOP trying to protect your beloved leader and think for yourselves.

    2. John Moser says:

      He wouldn’t be the first faux Seal caught preaching to activist Democrats. He sounds like a fake to me.

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