July 03, 2017
One day after being photographed on a New Jersey beach closed to the public, Gov. Chris Christie defended his actions.
Christie said he had announced his vacation plans to visit the state-owned, governor's beach house at Island Beach State Park prior to the government shutdown that closed state parks on Saturday.
Speaking by phone on Fox29's "Good Day Philadelphia," Christie said the news media simply "caught a politician keeping his word."
The shutdown – ordered by Christie after he and the state legislature failed to reach a new budget agreement by the June 30 deadline – impacts nonessential services, including state parks and the motor vehicle commission.
Christie drew public backlash after NJ.com photographed him on Sunday sitting on a beach chair and wearing sandals and a T-shirt. He later flew to Trenton to speak with reporters.
Asked about the outcry on Monday, Christie said, "I'm sorry they're not the governor."
He later tweeted that 119 of New Jersey's 130 miles of coastline are open to the public. He encouraged people to use them – but urged them to use sunscreen and hydrate.
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 shutdown expanded to the New Jersey court system late Sunday night, when Chief Justice Stuart Rabner declared the superior court, appellate division, tax court, and administrative office of the courts closed except for "emergent court matters" determined by him.
Naturally, social media users had a field day making jokes and criticizing Christie.
Chris Christie closing the beach to the public and only opening it up for himself is the most real life Cartman/South Park thing ever.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) July 3, 2017
I downloaded an app just to see what that Christie photo will look like when I commission it to be painted in oils - so gorgeous pic.twitter.com/nAupigN8Ov— Karen Kilgariff (@KarenKilgariff) July 3, 2017