New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie prides himself on his ability to go off script. But when reporters asked him about the possible closure of a Hostess factory in Wayne, New Jersey, he took a different tack: get ‘em laughing.
When a reporter from CBS 880 AM asked him about the company’s impending bankruptcy, Christie said he couldn’t hear. When pressed about “the company that makes Twinkies,” Christie said he strategically didn’t want to even say the word, referring to Americas favorite cream-filled sponge cake.
Hostess Brands Inc., the bankrupt maker of Wonder bread and Twinkies, said it will fire more than 18,000 workers and liquidate after a nationwide strike by bakery workers crippled operations. A facility in Wayne, a northern New Jersey suburb, employs 300 people in the Garden State.
“I’m on Saturday Night Live enough,” Christie said. “You think you’re going to get me to talk about Twinkies? This is a setup, man. A setup. I’m not answering questions about Twinkies.”
The crowd, which included American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, as well as local and state politicians, erupted in a minuteslong round of laughter that drowned out Christie.
“I am not answering questions on Twinkies,” he said. “It’s bad I even said the word Twinkies.”
In recent episodes, the long-running comedy show has lampooned Christie’s performance following the superstorm Sandy that devastated his state Oct. 29. In October, the show’s trademark opening skit highlighted Christie’s role in presidential politics and the Republican Party’s inability to unite behind Mitt Romney.