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Chris Christie calls former Navy SEAL 'jerk'

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BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he doesn't regret calling a former Navy SEAL an "idiot" during a heated exchange at a recent public event.

Christie's comment capped off two minutes of increasingly heated back-and-forth with 34-year-old William Brown at a town hall-style event Thursday.

Brown, a former Democratic candidate for state Assembly, challenged the Republican governor's plan to merge two public universities, Rutgers and Rowan. Brown is a law student at the Camden campus of Rutgers who opposes the merger.

Christie defended his comment Monday, saying: "He acted like an idiot. He's an idiot. I don't have any regret about it at all." Christie says he honors the Mount Laurel man's military service, but that "doesn't give him the right to be a jerk."

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