New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) has received heavy criticism from residents and lawmakers for leaving the state, along with the Lt. Governor, during the fifth-largest blizzard in New Jersey’s history. Yesterday, Christie defended his vacation as “a great five days.”
“I would have been doing the same thing here as I would have been there,” Christie said. “I would have been in a room someplace. I would not have been out, like, driving a plow.” The governor also dismissed a question about trapped residents and attacked some New Jersey mayors:
When asked about the hundreds of people trapped in their homes for days, Christie said unless they lived on state roads, it’s not something his administration would have been able to change.
“If someone is snowed into their house, that’s not our responsibility,” Christie said.
When asked about mayors who said they were forced to divert their resources to unplowed state roads instead of clearing local roads Christie said, “I know who these mayors are and they should buck up and take responsibility for the fact that they didn’t do their job.”
Some residents did not appreciate Christie’s vacation, however. “I think this was his first priority. I mean, I’m all for everybody going away and having a vacation. He’s entitled to that, just like any of us, but…this storm really debilitated the whole state,” one man told CBS New York.
Today, 95 percent of the roads in New Jersey are clear. Over 550 trapped vehicles had to be removed from roads, and Christie is requesting funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help pay for what he says is a state of disaster in 13 counties.