TRENTON — As the clock ticks down on Gov. Chris Christie's time in office, he and his closest advisors are looking back on the successes and failures of his eight years.

Christie, who leaves office on January 18, told Politico.com that one regret was calling a Navy SEAL an "jerk" during a town hall meeting in March 2012.

William Brown of Mt. Laurel had been upset at the plan to merge Rutgers Camden with Rowan University. He kept interrupting the governor and was eventually escorted from the event by police.

As reported by New Jersey 101.5 at the time, Christie told the audience, “Let me tell you something, 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.”

Christie's reflection with Politico is a bit of a contrast from how he looked back on the incident just a week later — when he said he had "no regrets over it."

Christie also pinpointed the Bridgegate scandal as the moment his political fortunes and popularity began to decline — heading toward what FDU pegs as a 17 percent approval rating — said people were wrong to think he couldn't be a good governor while running for president or running the Republican Governor's Association. He also blamed President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Trump adviser Steve Bannon for replacing him as the head of Trump's transition committee, and said he turned down cabinet position offers from Trump.

Christie's decline in approval has positioned him as among the least popular governors in history, in any state. It's a major shift from the wake of superstorm Sandy, when a Rutgers-Eagleton poll found 67 percent of registered voters viewed him favorably.

Christie will be in-studio with New Jersey 101.5 on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for one of his final appearances on Ask the Governor.

The governor will be taking your calls at 800-283-1015 — but the phone lines fill up quickly. Fortunately, that’s not the only way to get your question heard:

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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