Finally putting New Jerseyans' concerns to rest, Bruce Springsteen mega-fan Gov. Christie denied falling asleep during the Springsteen show at Madison Square Garden earlier this month, as the New York Post's Page Six had reported. (And other media reiterated.)
"I have never fallen asleep at a Bruce Springsteen show, I will never fall asleep during a Bruce Springsteen show, my wife is probably afraid that I'm more likely to die during a Bruce Springsteen show than fall asleep," he said at a news conference Thursday.
He added: "This shows you the level of intrusiveness now into my life: some joker taking pictures of me at Madison Square Garden."
Asked at a morning news conference about the alleged slumber, Christie offered a detailed explanation, even summoning his deputy chief of staff, Deborah Gramiccioni, to the lectern. She was at the concert with him.
"Get over here! Come here, get up here," he said to Gramiccioni. "Deborah, at any time, did I fall asleep?"
"Absolutely not," she said, leaning into the microphone like a witness at a trial.
Christie explained that during "Rocky Ground," a new Springsteen song the governor called "spiritual," he sat down, leaned his head back, and closed his eyes to listen to the song.
At another time during the show, while Springsteen did "one of his little speeches . . . about the robber barons, the 1 percent, the normal Bruce stuff," a concertgoer in the front yelled in response: "Wake up, Governor!" But the two moments were conflated for the Post story, Christie said.
"When I was fist-pumping during 'Badlands,' I'm glad nobody took pictures of that," he said. "When I was singing to 'Out in the Street,' no one took pictures of that. When I was contorting myself to 'Because the Night,' no one took pictures of that."
Christie, who has been to nearly 130 Springsteen shows, said he got his tickets for this tour from E Street band member Steven Van Zandt, who sold them to the governor at face value.
"No one gets comps at Bruce shows - nobody," Christie said. "Bruce is a huge capitalist in that regard. That's how he got his 1 percent."
Newly scheduled Springsteen shows in Philadelphia on Labor Day weekend indicate that Springsteen has turned down the governor's offer - made in person and over and over again on Twitter - to play the new Revel casino in Atlantic City that weekend.
"I think it would have been a great thing for him to do; I think it would have been a sign of support for the working men and women of Atlantic City to go down there. . . . He has typically not consulted me on bookings, and so in that sense, he is remaining consistent," Christie said.
"I was merely an obsessed fan making a friendly recommendation. I'm sure he gets those all the time."
The explanation Thursday did yield a new gaffe. With his wife, Mary Pat, sitting in the front row of the news conference, Christie listed those who went with him to the Madison Square Garden show, and he said Mary Pat skipped that night.
"I was there!" she called out.
It was a rare moment. Christie looked somewhat embarrassed. "It was dark; what did I know?" he said.