Amid growing public frustration, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his family’s use of a beach that he had closed to the public — suggesting that they were free to run for governor as well.
“I’m sorry they’re not the governor,” Christie told
Christie sarcastically suggested that this latest “incredible scandal” is really nothing more than the press catching a politician “keeping his word” because he had already announced his vacation plans.
He also dismissed the Star-Ledger newspaper, which on Monday featured a photo of Christie lounging on the beach on its front page. “I’m sure they will get a Pulitzer for this one,” he quipped,
The embattled Republican ordered a government shutdown amid a state budget standoff with the Democrat-controlled legislature. This resulted in the closing of state parks and beaches.
Christie had in fact told the press that he intended to spend a long Fourth of July weekend at the governor’s summerhouse at Island Beach State Park last week. It’s one of the privileges — along with Drumthwacket, the official residence of the governor in Princeton, N.J. — of being the state’s chief executive.
When a reporter asked Saturday if it’s fair that his family would be free to use the state beach while others would not, Christie was characteristically blunt:
The backlash occurred after NJ.com photojournalist Andrew Mills
“But when Sunday’s weather looked good, and the governor’s schedule was open except for an afternoon press briefing in Trenton, I wondered, ‘What are the chances…?’” he wrote for NJ.com.
And it’s not just political opponents who were frustrated with Christie’s beach trip. Even his top deputy,
Despite his beach outing, Christie told the media that he did not get any sun on Sunday.
“I didn’t,“ he said. “I didn’t get any sun today.”
After the pictures were published, Brian Murray, the governor’s spokesman, conceded that he was on the beach briefly to talk to his wife and family before heading to the office, but reiterated that he “did not get any sun.”
“He had a baseball hat on,” Murray said.
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