Governor Chris Christie is no stranger to contentious town halls, but an unwritten rule was broken Thursday night at a town hall at Mount Laurel YMCA when protesters attempted to shout him down. Protesters interrupted Christie’s question-and-answer session several times before he finally responded, “Either sit down and keep quiet or get out, one or the other. We are done with you.”
Six protesters were removed from the event, four of whom were apparently students from Rowan University.
Christie said he loves youthful enthusiasm, but doesn’t appreciate people coming to town-hall meetings to interrupt. As security escorted them out, he said, ”They’re getting exactly what they want, because they get taken out, they get attention, and then the press follows them out and interviews them.”
He seemed to have the audience on his side. Michael Barbaro of the New York Times spoke to a South Jersey resident who had a question answered by the governor and told the paper, “I am a truck driver — I know how to be rude. But you have to follow the rules.”
The man said of the protesters, “I asked a state cop if I could go over there and slap them upside the head.” His request was denied, Barbaro reports.