Gov. Chris Christie called in to a local Fox affiliate on Monday morning to defend his decision to stay at a state-owned residence on Island Beach State Park even as it was closed to the public due to the government shutdown.
On Sunday evening, The Star-Ledger published a series of aerial photographs showing the governor, his family and friends, as the lone beachgoers on the 10-mile barrier island over the July 4th holiday weekend. Shortly thereafter, Christie became a trending topic on Twitter both nationally and globally.
“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 on Monday morning.
“I’m sure they’re going to get a Pulitzer for this, they caught me,” he said.
Christie, whose voter approval rating is at 15 percent, brushed aside criticism that he was “out of touch with the people of New Jersey” who are being turned away by police at public beaches.
“If the Legislature would pass a budget then the park would be open,” Christie responded.