POLITICS

Chris Christie Trades Insults With Callers During Sports Radio Audition

"I love getting calls from communists," the governor told one angry constituent.

Amid record low approval ratings, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) auditioned Monday for a hosting gig with WFAN, a popular New York-area sports talk radio station.

The governor, who is known for lashing out at constituents and reporters, fielded multiple angry calls throughout the program, just hours after a poll showed his approval rating at a dismal 15 percent. (Eighty percent of New Jersey adults, meanwhile, say they disapprove of the job Christie has done as governor.) 

One Jersey resident, who identified himself as John from Montclair, told Christie he thinks the governor has done a “horrible job” in office.

“You lost twice, John,” Christie said, referring to his own electoral victories in 2009 and 2013. “So that shows how much you matter. You went 0 for 2.” 

The caller pressed Christie on both the Bridgegate scandal and the governor’s support for President Donald Trump. The governor dismissed both questions, arguing that the 2014 scandal over the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge doesn’t reflect the overall culture of his administration, and saying that Trump’s election was a positive for the country.

“I’m enormously relieved that we don’t have a criminal in the White House like Hillary Clinton,” Christie said. “I’m sure you supported her, given you’re from Montclair.”

Montclair, a northern New Jersey suburb of New York City, overwhelmingly sided with the former secretary of state over Trump in the 2016 presidential race. Clinton carried New Jersey by about half a million votes.

Another caller, also from Montclair, criticized Christie for lounging on a state beach he’d ordered closed during a government shutdown ahead of the July 4 holiday. 

“Governor, next time you want to sit on a beach that is closed to the entire world except you, you put your fat ass in a car and go to one that’s open to all your constituents,” said the caller, who identified himself as Mike.

“You know, Mike, I love getting calls from communists in Montclair,” Christie replied. 

“You’re a bully, governor,” Mike said. 

“You’re swearing on air,” Christie said. “You’re a bum.” 

Christie filled in during the station’s drive time program for longtime host Mike Francesca, who is retiring at the end of the year. Christie is set to host the afternoon program alongside WFAN’s Evan Roberts both Monday and Tuesday. (The governor has previously guest-hosted morning programs on the station.) 

The outspoken governor, an avid New York sports fan (with the exception of his support for the Dallas Cowboys), could very well sign on for a lucrative hosting gig with the station after he leaves office early next year.

“He likes sports; he likes to talk. He’s obviously very comfortable behind the microphone,” Francesca said of Christie in March. “He already got a brand, so he’s ahead of the game from that standpoint.”

Clarification: This story originally described Christie as a New York sports fan. The story has been updated to reflect Christie’s allegiance to the Dallas Cowboys. 

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