Jerry Brown fires back at Chris Christie, calls for a fitness contest
It appears that Gov. Jerry Brown is game for a cross-country rivalry with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie fired the first shot on Monday, telling delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa that Brown was an "old retread."
Brown initially dismissed Christie's comments as name-calling and said he would take the high road. But on Thursday, in a speech to union members in Los Angeles, Brown changed tactics.
The governor said there was nothing wrong with being old since experience means he "may know a hell of a lot more than" Christie.Then Brown challenged his East Coast counterpart to a fitness contest.
"I hereby challenge Gov. Christie to a three-mile race, a push-up contest and a chin-up contest," he said. "And whatever he wants to bet. I have no doubt of the outcome.”
Brown's audience laughed at the challenge.
[Updated 5:35 p.m.: The 74-year-old governor is known for impromptu displays of strength. Two years ago he challenged a reporter to do 11 chin-ups, then did 12 himself.
A spokesman for Christie, Kevin Roberts, shot back at Brown in an email.
"Defensive much?" Roberts wrote. "This is what it looks like when you're out of ideas I guess. Except, of course, raising taxes."
Brown isn't the first politician who wanted to settle a score with Christie in the gym or on the field. Democratic New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who frequently spars with Christie, said last year that he is "ready for a foot race whenever he chooses.”]
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento