New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was photographed soaking up the sun at Island Beach State Park.
Here’s the “so what.”
For starters, Christie closed New Jersey’s state beaches. Except for himself and his family, it appears. According to NJ.com, Christie closed the stretch of beach as part of a governmental shutdown stemming from a budget standoff.
Secondly, caught in this quandary, the New Jersey governor denied getting any sun on July 2. At a news conference, Christie said: “I didn’t get any sun today.”
Photos showed otherwise. Here’s a photo of Chris Christie lounging on the beach other people couldn’t use. NJ.com says the Christie family, including Christie’s wife, Mary Pat, was using “the summer beach house provided by the state for a weekend down the Shore.”
Once the photos emerged, the New Jersey governor’s aide then said that Christie didn’t get any sun because he was wearing a baseball hat in the photos. “Yes, the governor was on the beach briefly today talking to his wife and family before heading into the office. He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on,” Christie’s spokesman, Brian Murray, explained to NJ.com.
Upsetting people all the more: The shutdown was affecting a lot of other people. “Among those affected were a group of Cub Scouts forced to leave a state park campsite and people trying to obtain or renew documents from the state motor vehicle commission,” reported NBC News.
Christie took to Twitter to point out that most of the state’s beaches are still open (just not the one he was sitting on).
The New York Times recounted how the photography for the New Jersey newspaper took the pics from a plane after noticing that Christie’s schedule was empty for Sunday morning. Christie was sitting on what was a 10=mile stretch of closed beach, the newspaper reported.
Call it “Beach-gate.” Raw Story reported that Christie defended his family’s use of the house despite the park shutdown. “When a reporter asked Saturday if he thought it fair that his family would be free to enjoy a state park that would be closed to the public as a result of the shutdown, Christie stressed that the beach house is separate from the park and that his family does not ask for any state services,” the site reported.
Christie was unapologetic about his use of the house, saying, “Run for governor, and you can have the residence.”
People on Twitter were displeased. “So did Chris Christie close the parks because of the budget, or did he just want a private beach for the holiday weekend? Serious question,” wrote one social media user.
Here’s another view of Christie not not on a beach (if that makes sense.)
Some people thought Christie sunning himself on a beach others couldn’t use was a metaphor for the current state of politics.
Christie critics circulated more Christie on the beach pics on Twitter.
The response on social media was scathing:
See some of the funniest Chris Christie beach memes: