Jerry Brown doubles down on physical challenge to Chris Christie


The cross-country spat between California Gov. Jerry Brown and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie briefly stepped back into the spotlight Sunday, with Brown reiterating his invitation for a gubernatorial gauntlet of physical challenges.

Christie sparked the repartee between the two by calling Brown “an old retread” during the Republican National Convention, pointing out to California delegates that he was just 14 years old when Brown challenged incumbent Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Democratic presidential primary. Christie also attacked Proposition 30, Brown’s tax increase initiative, as a cowardly avoidance of the state Legislature.

Brown, who has been spiritedly defended by prominent California political figures, was asked about the back-and-forth Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley.


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“I wouldn’t say it’s a feud,” Brown said. “He basically just was warming up, you know, throwing some red meat to the Republicans from California.”

Brown then reiterated and defended his response last week to the combative Jersey governor, which included a challenge to a series of physical challenges.

“I’m old. I’m 74. I’ll be 74 and a half next month. But here I am. You know, there is some experience. Hopefully there’s some wisdom. So I got kind of warmed up and went on my speech and I said, ‘OK, Christie, I challenge you to a three-mile race. Try some chin-ups maybe, and some push-ups.’”

“Essentially saying that he’s overweight,” Crowley interjected.

“No, essentially saying this old retread can beat you any day of the week,” Brown said.

Christie has not indicated that he has any intention of taking Brown up on his offer.

“He can have that contest with himself. I’ll continue to try to make my state better,” Christie told reporters last week.

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