Mr. Christie has been adamant that he had a right to the use the beach house at Island Beach State Park — it is an official governor’s residence — and that he was not going to cancel weeks of planning because of the shutdown.
.. When a reporter asked about his use of the home, Mr. Christie said: “That’s just the way it goes. Run for governor, and you can have a residence.”
.. In 2011, photographs published by The Star-Ledger caught him using a state helicopter paid for by taxpayers to attend his son’s baseball game. Television cameras caught him in awkward celebrations in 2015 with Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys — a hated rival in New Jersey
.. At the height of Mr. Christie’s popularity, when he was celebrated at home and nationally as one of the Republican Party’s brightest stars, Mr. Christie easily shrugged off seemingly damaging episodes, rarely giving any credence to concerns about political optics. Armed with a quick, sharp tongue and a brash sense of humor, his “sit down and shut up” tongue lashings were often praised as authentic and tough.
.. his continued reliance on biting defensive humor is less endearing and more enraging.
.. “His rise to national prominence was that he had this reputation as a fighter, and that when he was fighting, he was on the side of the Everyman and the New Jersey taxpayer against the status quo,”
.. Hours after Mr. Christie was spotted on the sand, Claude Brodesser, a reporter for The Star-Ledger, asked the governor if he had gotten any sun.
Mr. Christie curtly responded that he had not and hurled an unrelated insult at Mr. Brodesser.
.. he spotted the governor’s helicopter idling next to a plane — mounting evidence that Mr. Christie was by the ocean.
.. Some questioned why Mr. Christie had a taxpayer-funded beach house in the first place.
.. On Saturday morning, while confused residents were being turned away from Island Beach State Park’s entrance, one local fisherman spotted the governor’s daughter driving past the barricade.
.. Perhaps sensing the level of fury, Mr. Christie’s office carried out a public-relations blitz on Monday, using his official Twitter account to point to the many open municipal beaches.
“NJ beaches are open in 119 of our 130 miles of coastline.