CNN's Piers Morgan and Gov. Chris Christie talked politics and 2012 in their interview at the Livingston High School gym last week, CNN says today in promoting the hourlong interview that will air 9 p.m. Tuesday.
In an excerpt released on its website, Morgan hones in on the recent controversy surrounding Christie using a state helicopter to go to his son’s baseball game.
"I'm a father first," said Christie. "I miss a lot of stuff with my kids, and I'm not complaining, that's the nature of this job. And I asked for this job.”
In the video clip, Christie continues, “… that was the way I could get to my son’s game that day. I make no apologies for it.”
Christie says he paid back the cost of the trip because of public perception that he used the helicopter as a perk.
Does he regret taking the ride?
"If the public perceives for a moment that I'm using that for a perk of office, I want to take that away from them right away," Christie said. "But I would not make a different decision if I had to do it again."
The governor spent the morning of June 8 at Livingston High School filming the appearance on Piers Morgan Tonight and reminiscing about his days in Livingston. They even stopped for a cup of coffee at the Ritz Diner.
Christie, who graduated LHS in 1980, was class president and the Lancer catcher when the baseball team won the state championship in 1980.
Don Schwartz, the governor’s photography teacher and mentor, greeted Christie when he arrived and also talked to him about his sports career in Livingston later when they walked down the hallway of Livingston High School’s Fitness and Wellness center.
“What a thrill and honor for a teacher to see a former students excel and become the governor of the state of New Jersey,” said Schwartz, who retired from teaching in 1999. “It seems like yesterday that you were here. It is a proud moment for Livingston to have one of its’ own become governor.”
“Welcome to your old high school gym,” Morgan greeted Christie as he walked in and sat down for the interview. They talked about a variety of topics, including Christie's political views on several issues and his consideration of a run for the presidency.
Before the interview, Christie also greeted junior Jessica Chu, who created the chalk drawing of a Lancer for the taping of the show. Her drawing was featured on a background blackboard throughout the interview.
“I feel honored,” said Chu of her opportunity to draw a Lancer for the governor and have her art work featured on national television. “I am really happy to get this chance. It’s like ‘wow,’ I get to meet the governor.”
Teacher Steve Safran was excited to the have the governor and Morgan visit his AP government class. “Having the governor show up is much more interesting than anything I can do.”
The full hour will air Tuesday night, 9 p.m. on "Piers Morgan Tonight." (Editor’s note: the show has been changed up from the previously reported Wednesday night airing). See CNN's full blog post and video excerpt here.
Livingston Public Schools and Allison Freeman, the Interim Manager, Communications and Community Outreach, contributed to this article.