NJ Gov. Chris Christie and his family relax on closed NJ state beach
ABC/Randy Sager(NEW YORK) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t let his state’s government shutdown put a damper on his family’s weekend plans.
Late last week Christie shut down the state’s parks, recreation areas, forests and historic sites — including Island Beach State Park and Liberty State Park — over a state budget battle.
But on Sunday Christie and members of his family were seen lounging on Island Beach State Park in aerial photos, even though the public beach was closed off to state residents.
Shortly after leaving the beach, the Republican governor was asked at a news conference if he had gotten any sun.
“I didn’t,” he responded. “I didn’t get any sun today.”
When Christie’s spokesman Brian Murray was later told about the existence of the photos, Murray said “[Christie] did not get any sun … he had a baseball hat on.”
Christie and his family are staying at the governor’s residence at Island Beach State Park. He has defended their use of the facility amid the shutdown, saying they would not seek state services while there.
Now, after pictures of the Christies relaxing on the empty beach went viral, Christie called the issue “an incredible scandal.”
“They actually caught a politician being where he said he was going to be with the people he said he was going to be with,” he said Monday morning in a phone interview with Fox 29.
“You can understand why a lot of people are upset,” the co-host pressed Christie, who remained defiant.
“Well, I’m sorry they’re not the governor,” he retorted.
And in another interview Monday morning, Christie took a mocking tone.
“What a great bit of journalism by The Star-Ledger. They actually caught a politician being where he said he was going to be with the people he said he was going to be with — his wife and his children and their friends,” Christie told Fox5NY.
“I’m sure they’re going to get a Pulitzer for this, they caught me,” he said.
The majority of the state’s beaches, which are managed by individual municipalities, are still available to beachgoers. Christie made that point in a Monday morning tweet.
NJ beaches are open in 119 of our our 130 miles of coastline. Come and enjoy them–but use sunscreen and hydrate! pic.twitter.com/7LeCYcjZqm
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) July 3, 2017
The second-term governor and former presidential candidate has about four months left in office.
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