New Jersey beaches are closed this weekend thanks to a state government shutdown caused by a budget standoff between Governor Chris Christie and the State Assembly. But it appears Christie himself is unperturbed by the police cars and blockades restricting his constituents from enjoying themselves down the shore, as photos surfaced of him and his family on one such shuttered beach this weekend.
— NJ.com (@njdotcom) July 2, 2017
The photos were published by NJ Advance Media, and today photographer Andrew Mills explained: "Did we know he would be sunbathing on a closed beach? No, but we took a shot and it paid off. Originally, [we]] had booked a plane for the Fourth of July. The plan was to fly along the Jersey Shore on the holiday and shoot the crowded beaches, juxtaposed with the empty stretches of sand that were off-limits because of the government shutdown, if it were still in effect. 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 ...?'"
Christie and his family stayed in the governor's official retreat in Island Beach State Park on Saturday and Sunday, hence the exclusive access. He traveled there via a state helicopter, and said, "I traveled there, and I traveled back, and I’ll travel back again by helicopter. That's where my family is sleeping so that's where I'll sleep. When I have a choice between sleeping with my family or sleeping alone, I generally like to sleep where my family is."
Clearly, Christie didn't do much to endear himself to a constituency that missed out on the country's #1 beach weekend thanks to his budget squabble, particularly since their tax dollars fund that official retreat. Luckily, since New Jersey residents were trapped indoors, they had plenty of time and wifi access to make angry tweets:
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 don't think it's possible for Americans to dislike politicians more than they do right now
Chris Christie: Hold my beer pic.twitter.com/h9V6Xt5sqG
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) July 3, 2017
— Brigid Fitch (@Brigid_Fitch) July 1, 2017
— darth:™ (@darth) July 3, 2017
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 3, 2017
This is the future that conservatives want. pic.twitter.com/GwM89mzZxD
— Waldo Jaquith (@waldojaquith) July 3, 2017
Chris Christie Beheads Bruce Springsteen with Katana on Closed New Jersey Beach. "Wawa Sucks," Adds Governor
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) July 3, 2017
Fellow Bruce Springsteen fan Preet Bharara also tweaked Christie:
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) July 3, 2017
Christie, who currently holds an approval rating of 15 percent, seems untroubled by the negative attention. "That’s just the way it goes," he told the Times. "Run for governor, and you can have a residence."
Plus, just because he got to go to the beach doesn't mean he had any fun on it. "I didn’t get any sun today," he told reporters yesterday.
— alex ronan (@alexLronan) July 3, 2017
— NJ.com (@njdotcom) July 3, 2017
The shutdown continues today. and Christie—who leaves office in January—told reporters on Sunday, "I’m a little frustrated, quite frankly at this point, that no one will send me any budget."