Chris Christie’s Top 14 Media Moments of 2013
Almost everything Gov. Chris Christie did and everywhere he appeared during 2013 drew extra attention. Here are his top 14 media moments.
Gov. Christie made an appearance on the CBS "Late Show with David Letterman" and mocked his famous girth by reading all the Christie fat jokes he heard, like this one: “Chris Christie turned 50 today. He blew out the candles on his cake and he wished for another cake.” But he topped that by pulling a jelly doughnut out of his jacket pocket and taking a big bite.
Then, when former White House physician Connie Mariano expressed concern on CNN that the governor might suffer a heart attack or stroke while in office, Christie responded that unless Mariano gives him a physical exam and takes his family history, “she should shut up.”
It was few weeks later that Christie, unknown to most everyone, had lap band surgery in New York.
Christie took to Jimmy Fallon's late night NBC show to provide a "slow jam" explanation for the special Senate election to fill the late Frank Lautenberg's seat.
“I had the choice to either appoint a hand-picked replacement, or let the people vote on their new senator,” Christie said. “As governor, I have a responsibility to ensure the citizens of New Jersey have a voice in Washington. That’s why this special election is hugely important.”
“Ah … yeah. Chris Christie’s about to give New jersey a huge election … and he’s putting in the hands of the people. So watch out. Cause it’s coming prematurely, October 16 to be exact,” Fallon translated.
No fan of MTV's "Jersey Shore," Christie took on cast member Snooki over the relative merits of the show's promotion of Seaside Heights vs. the sometimes unruly behavior of cast members and fans. Snookie issued a conciliatory offer to be Christie's "workout buddy" after he made his lap-band surgery public. But it all seemed to go south again during an impromptu meet-up on the Seaside Heights boardwalk on Memorial Day Weekend.
In an exchange captured on video by the Asbury Park Press, an unsmiling Snooki told Christie she hoped he would “start to like us.” Christie responded, “Well, we’ll do our best. After they parted ways, Snooki looked at the camera and said, “He just doesn’t like us.”
Then she posted a picture of the meeting on her Instagram page, captioned: “Getting told why we are bad for Jersey. Amazing.”
Christie made the cover of Time twice during 2013 and both covers stirred controversy. The first cover in January dubbed him "The Boss," with a stern-looking portrait he panned on the Don Imus radio show as an attempt to cast him as a Mafioso.
“I’m reporting Time magazine to the, like, anti-Italian defamation league," Christie said. "I mean, look at that thing. It says ‘boss’ underneath. I mean come on. I can’t wait for that thing to come home for my kids to see it.”
After his 22-point re-election win in November, a second Time cover was titled "The Elephant in the Room." New York Times writer Steven Greenhouse tweeted, “Whether or not one likes Christie, these cheap shots–like Time’s new cover–about his weight are decidedly uncool.”
During March's "Ask the Governor" program, Christie alluded to a much-publicized photo of British Prince Harry playing strip pool, not long before his scheduled Sandy recovery visit to the Jersey Shore. “I am going to spend the entire day with Prince Harry," the governor said. "Believe me, no one is going to be getting naked.” Christie noted that he had met Queen Elizabeth and added: "She knows that she can trust her beloved grandson with the governor of the state of New Jersey.”
Spider Kill in the Governor's Office
During a visit from his daughter Bridget's fourth grade class, the governor used a stapler to dispatch a wayward spider. The Superior Spider Killer later tweeted: "Earlier today I saved a few school children from a spider #nobigdeal #toughdayattheoffice."
PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animal) called it a "thoughtless act."
Lawrenceville's Jon Stewart joked that the victim was actually “Dr Arachnid,” who had found a cure for cancer, meaning: “cancer will always be with us.”
In the battle over New Jersey towns' red light camera ticketing programs, Gov. Christie shed no tears for offenders. “Be a responsible driver. Don’t run a red light," he said during the August edition of "Ask The Governor."
If people aren't talking about the governor's weight, they're talking about his temper. Christie's called New York Daily News sports writer Manish Mehta a “complete idiot, self-consumed, underpaid reporter" for criticizing New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan's decision to play QB Mark Sanchez during a pre-season game against the Giants. (Sanchez suffered a season-ending injury). The Daily News replied with a front page headline that read, "Who you calling an idiot, fatso?"
The next day on "Ask the Governor," Christie gave himself the last word with a shot at "over-wrought" and "thin-skinned" reporters.
Melissa Tomlinson, a teacher, challenged the governor during an election-eve campaign stop in Somers Point. “Why are you portraying our schools as failure factories?” she said, according to the Star-Ledger. Christie, who was about to get on his campaign bus, turned around and snapped, “What do you want? I’m tired of you people.”
They exchanged words and Christie, wagging his finger in Tomlinson's face, was heard to say, ” You people! Just do your job.”
Dave Weigel, a reporter for the website Slate, captured a picture of the confrontation and tweeted it.
Christie Compliments Buono
During their first debate at William Paterson University in Wayne, Chris Christie and ill-fated Democratic challenger Barbara Buono were asked to offer one thing they liked about each other. Buono, who made a snarky "he's good on late night TV" response, was out-maneuvered by Christie, who took the high road and called her a "good and caring mother" who cared "deeply about public service."
In an episode of Michael J. Fox's NBC comedy, Christie played himself giving an interview to Fox’s character, Mike Henry, a much loved news anchor returning to the air despite Parkinson’s Disease. "So inspiring,” Christie says of Henry's comeback, so much so that he's decided to “make an announcement” about his own future. But Henry has nodded off and, embarrassed when wakened by an assistant, he misses the governor's comment and, presumably, an on-air scoop about Christie's presidential intentions.
Governor Christie retired his trademark Sandy fleece in 2013 but he brought it back as the subject of a video shown at the New Jersey Legislative Correspondent’s Club Dinner & Show. Keynote speaker Christie showed the video, which featured cameos by Alec Baldwin, Joe Scarborough & Mika Brzezinski, Jon Bon Jovi, Jim Carville and Saturday Night Live’s Bobby Moynihan.
Never mind Bridgegate. What about the Scooby Doo scandal? At a town hall meeting in Branchburg, four-year-old Tommy Zaninelli asked Christie about his favorite TV show. "ESPN," the governor said and then asked Tommy for his favorite show. "Scooby Doo," Tommy said. His too, at age 4, Christie said in solidarity. This prompted Stephen Colbert to point out that Scooby Doo didn't debut until Christie was 7. The governor had given the four-year-old a "Scooby Doo-doo" answer, Colbert said.
Christie wrapped up the December edition of "Ask the Governor" by answering questions about his family's Christmas traditions and singing along to Bruce Springsteen's "Merry Christmas Baby."