New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got into a shouting match Thursday with a former Navy SEAL at a town-hall meeting over plans to merge two state universities, and ended up calling the man an “idiot.”
Mr. Christie was telling an audience in Florence, N.J., about his plans to merge Rutgers University’s law school in Camden with Rowan University when William Brown, 34, a second-year student at the law school, loudly voiced his opposition. Mr. Brown, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who wore a T-shirt proclaiming his veteran’s status, repeatedly interrupted the governor, according to a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Nobody at Rutgers wants it, nobody in South Jersey!” Mr. Brown shouted.
Mr. Christie, his voice rising, replied, “Let me tell you something. If, after you graduate from law school, you conduct yourself like that in a courtroom, your rear end’s going to be thrown in jail, idiot.”
Mr. Brown was then removed from the firehouse by local police officers and spoken to outside by a plain-clothed police officer for several minutes, the Inquirer reported. He was not arrested.
“It’s freedom of expression,” Mr. Brown told the officers. “This is America.”