Piers Morgan Tonight: Christie on Copter-Gate: 'I Would Not Make a Different Decision’

CNN interview from Livingston High School airs Tuesday at 9 p.m.

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 .

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.

Maryellen Brady June 14, 2011 at 04:50 PM
Of course Cristie makes no apology for the misuse of taxpayer dollars. He made that clear when he announced he was paying the treasury for the helicopter rides. He said the money was miniscule and his tone was one of resentment. The surprise is that he paid it back at all!! After all, he cares nothing about public opinion, because he is emboldened by his own arrogance and drunk on his November win. He is going to use every bit of his power in office to advance the republican agenda of : starving govt, tax cuts for the rich and privatization of schools etc...
tunghoy June 14, 2011 at 04:58 PM
Gov. Christie makes no apologies. He also makes no sense.
Gloria June 14, 2011 at 05:05 PM
If this man doesn't lose some weight, no one will have to concern themselves if he takes a helicopter because he won't be able to lift off...LOL
J Butler June 14, 2011 at 05:15 PM
He uses the same copter to cut up his french fries and blend his catsup. The exhaust blast cooks his ten-decker triple cheese burgers. No apopogies for that either.
Veronica June 14, 2011 at 05:15 PM
So sick of this man. Why does he think any person in NJ cares about his children and his relationship with them? He is the Governor, a 24/7 job. If you can't make the game without taking the helicopter, tell your son, sorry, I can't make it due to work conflicts. How many times a day do you think this conversation takes place between parents and their children ? I'm sure there are a lot of parents that miss games due to working overtime, or a second job, or not being able to leave work early to get through NJ traffic to make the game.
rlivingston10116 June 14, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Being a republican means never having to say you're sorry...
Mark Smith June 14, 2011 at 05:24 PM
I live in TX but grew up in NJ. I love what he is doing to stop run away spending and rein in public unions who are getting more than they deserve.
Nina June 14, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Mark-- But then again, it's not your taxes that are going to fuel Christie's helicopter rides to his kids' baseball games, or to feed him! Talk about run away spending and getting more than you deserve!
Bruce June 14, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Dear Gov. Christie, I need to take my cat to the vet. Can I borrow the state helicopter next Wednesday?
Brian June 14, 2011 at 06:28 PM
What is with you people. He is the governor of the state. He requires security and yes he has the ability to utilize the state helicopter if needed. So maybe he should pay for the cost of fuel, but the copter and crew are there for his use. People on the left are such hyprocrites. We have Obama using his helicopter to go play golf every weekend and no one bitches about him. Leftist, nothing but hypocrites.
Edward Garfield June 14, 2011 at 06:50 PM
The copter and the pilot are not free. Christie has had a habit of spending freely with taxpayers money.
Christopher Buttner June 14, 2011 at 06:57 PM
Regardless of the fact the he paid the cost of the copter, if there had been an actual emergency in where the copter was needed and it was delayed and someone died because it was taking that larda-s to his son's ball game, the state would have been sued millions of dollars - tax payer dollars - for negligence. I am confident that when you Google "Republican Arrogance", Christie's pictures comes up on the top of the first page of returns.
Pete Cunningham June 14, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Did he really need the limo to drive him the last 100 yards?
MJ June 14, 2011 at 07:37 PM
Obama is POTUS, that is the difference. As such, he is the most targeted man in the world. It would be a huge crisis for the Us & the world if the POTUS were to be assassinated. Presidents therefore get far more security than a governor does. They ALL get it, Democrat or Republican. You're letting your personal animus for Obama cloud your judgment.
Casey June 14, 2011 at 08:25 PM
All I have to say is, "Poor ole helicopter"!
J Pell June 14, 2011 at 09:15 PM
In actuality, he has done little. This is the year, we will see what the "Fat One" can accomplish, other than attempting to BS and placate all his republican friends.
Casey June 14, 2011 at 09:49 PM
Of course, he needed the limo the last 100 yards. You expect he could walk that far? Probably couldn't make it without several rest stops.
Rich from Lake Como June 14, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Arrogance is this man's middle name. He using the "sympathy" card because he's a "Dad". Christie is demanding public employees take financial cuts all because he wouldn't raise the state income tax rate on his millionaire country club buddies from Hunterdon, Morris and Somerset Counties. A helicopter to a ball game? And then, down to Princeton to meet your GOP buddies ? You ought to be ashamed of yourself doing such things in this type of economy. If you don't know what shame means, look it up... and while you're there, check out the definition for "humility". You wouldn't be Governor if Dick Codey had challenged that idiot Corzine. Enjoy this term. It will be your one and only.
Concerned Livingston Resident June 15, 2011 at 02:43 AM
I am surprised by the harshness of the comments and the lack of pride of having a home town Governor. His record shouldn't be judged on one helicopter ride. He is trying to be an agent of change, which is tough and NJ needs change. The only disappointing part of the Christie governorship is his hypocrisy on schools -- he has so much pride about his Livingston education, yet he is hellbent to effect changes to healthy school districts including his fanatic obsession over charter schools.
sandanb June 15, 2011 at 05:40 AM
HEi, I'm not sure if Livingston ,that I'm now on is the same beautiful place that my military family and I lived in over 50 years ago, but I was a soldier there ( a Nike missile tech) who had a family of three and lived in a small military commuity just south of Livingston (East Hanau?) but I would appreciate any comments from people who know about the Nike"s ! My e-mail is aultmanjohn@att.net e
Pete Cunningham June 15, 2011 at 10:24 AM
It's that same hypocrisy that allows Gov to feel entitled to helicopter rides for personal business while he asks the rest of the state to tighten it's belts. I guess Christie wears suspenders.
perry June 15, 2011 at 03:36 PM
but, how much did he pay? did it include the fuel and pilot's time? was he on state time?
perry June 15, 2011 at 03:37 PM
you miss the point. as guner, he can do wha the pleases. who's gonna to fire him?
perry June 15, 2011 at 03:38 PM
except that union guys don't fly to their kids baseball games in the middle of their workday!
perry June 15, 2011 at 03:39 PM
what time?


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