LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie talked Atlantic City casinos and defended his use of Bruce Springsteen music in the latest installment of his summer “No Pain, No Gain” town hall series on Tuesday.
Many previous events have featured protests by retirees and labor groups as well as Atlantic City casino workers urging Christie to do more to save their jobs following a series of announced closures.
But this time, Christie was met with just a single protester - a woman who objected to Christie’s staff playing Springsteen music before his events.
Christie began the town hall by addressing the situation in Atlantic City, where a trio of casinos is set to shut their doors in the coming weeks. Showboat is scheduled to close on Aug. 31, Revel will close its hotel Sept. 1 and its casino Sept. 2, and the Trump Plaza is closing Sept. 16.
Christie, who is set to convene a summit with officials and stakeholders next month, said once again that he remains dedicating to the city and helping laid-off workers find new jobs.
“We can’t look at this as a disaster. It’s not a disaster,” he said, pressing the need to transform the city into a full-service resort town.
In a more unusual moment, a woman challenged Christie over his use of Springsteen’s music at his events, suggesting the Boss had asked him not to play it. Springsteen has criticized Christie’s policies and appeared in a musical skit mocking the Republican after the George Washington Bridge scandal.
But Christie, a self-professed Springsteen mega-fan, insisted the woman was mistaken. He said he’d seen Springsteen recently and the rocker had said nothing to that effect.
“I know Bruce and I’ve spoken to Bruce and you’re wrong,” he said, visibly angry.
The governor’s staff eventually cut off the woman’s microphone as she tried to engage him on another issue.
“If you want to debate me, run for governor,” he said.
The woman spent most of the rest of the event holding up a sign that read “INDICT” next to a drawing of handcuffs.
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