Chris Christie caught using state beach during government shutdown

Situation made worse by initial denial and later downplaying

On Friday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave the order to close state-run beaches over Independence Day weekend as part of the government shutdown caused by a failure to agree on a state budget in the legislature. However, this was juxtaposed by photographs of Christie caught enjoying a state park beach all to himself and his family, which led to statewide and even national criticism. The governor owns a house on Island Beach State Park, which explains in part why they had access to Island Beach State Park, which had police officers at its entrance to turn away civilians. Because Christie had mentioned his plans to visit the beach prior to the government shutdown, he was asked on Sunday if he went through with his plans, and he responded, “I didn’t get any sun today.” Once Christie’s camp was confronted with the photographs, a spokesman went as far as to say, “He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on.”

On Monday, Christie was still dismissive of the controversy, saying in an interview with a local television station, “They actually caught a politician being where he was going to be with the people he said he was going to be with, his wife and his children and their friends. So I’m sure they’re going to get a Pulitzer Prize for this one because they actually proved they caught me doing what I said to do with the people I said I was going to be with,” the sarcasm being made very obvious in the statement. In a post on Twitter, he also said, “NJ beaches are open in 119 of our 130 miles of coastline. Come and enjoy them.”

These actions by Christie have led to the opinion by political analysts that the governor is just making the most of his remaining time in office without much regard to his actual duties. Christie is not allowed to run for re-election due to reaching term limits, and has expressed his lack of desire for a spot in the U.S. Congress. He hasn’t ruled out participating in the inner circle of U.S. President Donald Trump, and some believe this behavior might actually appeal to Trump’s convention-defying sensibilities.

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