Chris Christie, New Jersey’s Republican governor, got on one of Amtrak’s quiet cars this Sunday but ended up getting asked to leave for allegedly yelling on his phone.
According to Gawker, Christie was having a rough day since he nearly missed the 9:55 am Amtrak train from DC to New York. He ended up boarding the quiet car and eventually got kicked out because of talking loudly on his cell phone.
Co-passenger Alexander Mann said that he believes Christie was yelling at his two secret service agents for most likely a seat mix-up. Mann also confirmed that Christie began making phone calls immediately after boarding the train using a weBoost Connect 4G-X.
The quiet car’s conductor asked Christie to either get off the train or to continue the rest of his journey in silence. Christie chose to get up and walk away. Mann said that Christie continued to yell at his secret service agents even while getting off the train.
Christie was drinking a McDonalds strawberry smoothie the whole time. Christie’s official spokeswoman, Samantha Smith, later released a statement to The Huffington Post.
According to the statement, Christie accidentally got on the quiet car. Upon breaking the established protocol of the quiet car, Christie realized the gravity of his mistake and immediately got off the train. He continued the rest of his journey on another train from the cafe car.
Smith also confirmed that Christie was not yelling on the phone and he also did not have his secret service agents with him. The statement concluded with “sincere apologies” to all the passengers who might have taken offence at Christie’s conduct.
Another co-passenger and apparently an ardent Christie supporter, Katie Klabusich, has a different perspective on the incident. She refuted Gawker’s report by tweeting that Christie was “super courteous” and was not creating a scene in any way.
Amtrak has strict rules for its quiet cars. Passengers boarding the train have to maintain a library-like atmosphere with minimal talking. Cell phone use is not permitted. It is not rare for passengers to get asked to leave for breaking one of the rules of the quiet car.