New Jersey beachgoers erupted in cheers Monday as a towplane pulling an advertising banner flew over Seaside Park with a blunt message for Gov. Chris Christie (R).
“Tell Chris Christie: Get the hell off Island Beach State Park,” the banner read.
Several aerial photos published Sunday by NJ Advance Media show Christie lounging with family and friends on an otherwise empty Island Beach State Park, where there’s an official governor’s residence. The park, just south of the town of Seaside Park, was one of several Christie ordered closed over the holiday weekend after lawmakers failed to pass a state budget.
Video of the banner plane was posted to Facebook and Twitter by Jersey Shore Hurricane News. The message was a clear jab at Christie’s 2011 warning ahead of Hurricane Irene, when he stressed during a press conference that it was time for people to “get the hell off the beach.”
Christie defended his beach time on Monday amid a public backlash, and mocked the media for covering his sunbathing. For people upset that they couldn’t enjoy the popular park over the holiday weekend, Christie told Fox 29 in Philadelphia: “I’m sorry they’re not the governor. This is a residence.”