Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has made a name for himself screaming at constituents – from “jerk” to “idiot” to “numbnuts.” He has also, while in re-election mode, tried to tone it down somewhat in hopes of appealing to a broader base of voters. But yesterday was an apparent slip as Governor Christie told a public school teacher that “I Am Tired Of You People!”
The woman he screamed at, Melissa Tomlinson, is a public school teacher who asked Christie why he denigrated public education.
I went to listen to him speak. I stood in the front of the crowd that was standing towards the back. I know he caught sight of me. He stared at me a few times during his speech. I left right as his speech was over to position myself right at the door of the bus. He came out, shaking everyone’s hands as he was getting on the bus. I asked him my question, expecting him to ignore me but he suddenly turned and went off.
I asked him: “Why do you portray our schools as failure factories?” His reply: “Because they are!” He said: “I am tired of you people. What do you want?”
So what did Tomlinson want?
I told him I want money for my students. He fought back with the amount that he has spent on education. My response was along the lines of the fact his amount was not actually an increase from the previous years, given the rate of inflation and other factors.
The crowd started arguing with me. He screamed at me to just do my job.The crowd cheered for him. I just looked at them and told them: “Hey, this is my life. I had to do this.” I tried to follow him to Atlantic City to continue the conversation but the roads were blocked by police when I got there.
So while tomorrow is a likely victory for Christie, it’s a serious question if his belligerent routine will play well outside his home state as he looks to the 2016 presidential election.