NEW JERSEY (FOX5NY) - New Jersey's governor is defending going to a state beach during a state government shutdown that has closed state beaches.
NJ Advance Media published photos of Gov. Christie and his family on lounging on the sand over the weekend at the closed Island Beach State Park.
In a phone interview on Monday's Good Day New York, the Republican governor said he had every right to be there.
"The governor has two residences in New Jersey. One down at the beach, at Island Beach State Park, and one at Drumthwacket, which also is in Princeton," Gov. Christie said. "The governor is allowed to go to his residences and I'm at my residences. I'll tell you this, I said last Monday, a week ago today, that no matter what happens, we were coming here as a family this weekend."
The governor mocked the media company for putting the pictures on the front page of the newspaper.
"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 children and their friends. I am sure they will get a Pulitzer for this one," Christie said. "They caught me doing what I said I was going to do with the people I said I was going to be with."
The shutdown started on July 1 because of a requirement that the state pass a balanced budget. The deadline was missed as the Democrat-controlled legislature spars with the governor over legislation to overhaul the state's biggest health insurer. Christie wants Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield to pay more money to the state while Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is blocking the proposal.
Christie say that if the legislature would pass a budget, he would sign it and the park would be open.