New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) stayed at the state-owned Island Beach State Park on Saturday night, less than a day after ordering state parks and beaches to close as a result of a budget stalemate.
The governor left the city's capital of Trenton for the 10-mile barrier island after briefing New Jersey Legislature members about the impasse, a spokesman confirmed to Politico on Sunday.
Christie said his family would not postpone or cancel their plans to visit the park, adding that they don't plan to use any of the “services” the park typically provides.
“I don’t know if it’s fair,” he reportedly said on Friday, as the deadline for the budget deadline neared. “But they’re not asking for any services. The houses are the governor’s houses, and they’re not asking for any services.”
State police, who guard the property, are not affected by the shutdown.
At a Sunday press conference on the state shutdown, Christie was asked if he had spent any time in the sun.
"I didn't," he said, according to NJ.com. "... I didn't get any sun today."
But a photo snapped Sunday by NJ Advance Media showed the governor and his family on the sand.
After being told about the photo, Christie spokesman Brian Murray acknowledged the governor had spent time on the beach.
"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."
Updated 7:08 p.m.
Christie is reportedly pushing for a $34.7 billion state budget that includes certain provisions for his initiatives like drug treatment. He faces staunch pushback from State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D).
Christie issued an executive order shutting down the government early Saturday morning.
"This order is necessary to maintain the protection, safety and well-being of the people of New Jersey while I attempt to convince the legislature to send me a fiscally responsible budget that I can sign and re-open New Jersey's government," Christie said in a statement announcing the shutdown.