New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said on Thursday that the criticism that surrounded his family after they were photographed enjoying a closed public beach upset his children especially.

In comments made on his Thursday night radio show and first reported by Bloomberg, Christie told listeners that the "ignorance" of his critics hurt his family.

The critics "upset his children more than anything else," Christie said on Thursday. "They don't understand people's unfairness and, quite frankly, their ignorance."

Earlier this month, Christie and his family were photographed by a New Jersey Star-Ledger reporter enjoying the Sun on a beach he had closed just days earlier. The governor and his family were ripped by critics and Democrats for enjoying the publicly funded beach amid a government shutdown in the state.


Christie's team has been running defense since. Shortly after the photos were taken, Christie's spokesman dismissed the controversy in an interview with NBC.

“You’re using some photographs about a man on the beach with his family. That’s a scandal, apparently,” he told NBC.

“That beach is closed 365 days a year. That particular segment of the beach is part of the governor’s residence. He was on the beach for 45 minutes, [then] came back to work in Trenton.”

The two-term GOP governor is one of the most unpopular state leaders in the country.

A recent Quinnipiac poll found that a shocking 81 percent of New Jersey voters disapprove of Christie's performance as governor, including 58 percent of Republicans. The poll was taken shortly after the news broke about Christie's use of the public beach. That's a 10 percent jump from the previously most recent poll, which found Christie with 71 percent disapproval in April.