Speed Reads

Fighting words

Chris Christie says teachers' unions deserve a 'political punch to the face'

At an education summit in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) shared his feelings on teachers' unions, saying they deserve a "political punch to the face... because that's what they do to us."

His comments echoed remarks he made on CNN, when he said a national teachers' union was "the single most destructive force" in education and deserved a "punch to the face." In 2011, the New Jersey Education Association spent $10.9 million on a media campaign that union officials said was necessary to "counter the governor's use of the 'bully pulpit' to spread a message against them," NorthJersey.com reported in 2012. In turn, Christie said the union was trying to "bully people" and "intimidate" to get what they wanted.

The Supreme Court agreed in June to hear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which will consider whether public school teachers have to pay fees to unions even if they are not part of the union, CBS News reports. If the court rules against the unions, it would "be a good thing for education in this country, no doubt," Christie said. If they were completely eliminated, he added, that would be "nirvana."