Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that Assemblyman Parker Space should apologize for using a vulgar insult to describe one of his female opponents.
Space (R-Sussex) was caught on tape calling one his Democratic opponents a “bitch,” according to Politico. Space, who was already in hot water for recently posing for a picture in front of a Confederate flag, has faced harsh criticism for his comments and some Democrats have called on him to resign.
Christie said Friday that he hadn’t heard the audio recording of Space using the crude language, but said it was “not good.”
“It was a mistake and he should apologize for it, but after that we should move on because I know Parker pretty well and I think he is a person of good character. But people of good character make mistakes sometimes,” Christie said during a news conference in Trenton.
Space was recorded calling Democrat Assembly candidate Kate Matteson a “bitch” three times in a 33-second clip. He made the remarks after a drug awareness event in Sussex County.
Space’s campaign did not return a request for comment on Friday.
Space and his Republican running mate, Hal Wirths, are competing against Democrats Matteson and Gina Trish in the 24th District, which includes Morris, Sussex and Warren counties. In a statement, Matteson said Space’s remark “shows a lack of character and bad judgment.
“Assemblyman Space chose to vulgarly lash out at me in a public setting dedicated to victims of drug overdoses,” she said. “I was not present and therefore could not speak for myself. Make no mistake that these actions reflect his callous and ineffective voting record that gets us nowhere in Trenton.”
Last month, Space came under fire for posting a picture of himself in front of a Confederate flag on social media. In 2015, Space was the only Assembly member to abstain from a vote condemning the Confederate flag.
Several Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, called on Space to resign this week because of his recent actions.
“Parker Space’s conduct is absolutely disgusting and his continued presence in the Legislature is an insult to not only every woman who serves in public office, but all of the millions of women in our state,” Weinberg (D-Bergen) said in a statement.
Space told Insider NJ that he would only apologize after Democrats take a polygraph test to determine if they’ve said “bitch” before. “Afterwards, we can all resign together,” he said.
On Friday, Christie said plenty of people have used bad words before, including himself.
“I know that it never happens in the media, but with real people it really happens sometimes,” he added sarcastically.