New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) spent part of the weekend lounging on a state beach he ordered closed to the public amid a local government shutdown, photos show.
Christie spent Saturday night and part of Sunday at New Jersey’s Island Beach State Park with family and friends at a summer beach house owned by the government. The park was among those closed over the holiday weekend during the ongoing statewide government shutdown after lawmakers were unable to pass a new budget.
The governor’s family, however, were apparently excluded from the visitation ban and aerial photos obtained by NJ Advance Media show a group of people, including Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, alone on an empty beach.
“I don’t know if it’s fair, but ... my family doesn’t ask for any services while we are there,” Christie told reporters at a news conference ahead of his visit, saying he had no plans to cancel the trip.
He later added: “Run for governor, and you can have a residence there.”
Other outlets have noted the ban has been strictly enforced. NBC reports a local Cub Scout pack of about 25 kids was kicked out of Cheesequake State Park over the weekend by authorities.
NJ.com reports Christie told reporters on Sunday he didn’t “get any sun” during his visit. But when his team was informed of the photos, his spokesman clarified the governor was on the beach, but didn’t get any sun because “he had a baseball hat on.”