New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno blasted her boss, Gov. Chris Christie, for his use of a state-owned beached that was closed to the public this weekend due to the government shutdown.
"If I were governor, I sure wouldn't be sitting on the beach if taxpayers didn't have access to state beaches," Guadagno wrote on Facebook on Monday. "It's beyond words."
Guadagno, the Republican nominee to replace Christie in the governor's mansion in November, has distanced herself from her boss throughout her campaign. She opposes Christie's plan to tax Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, came out against his 23-cent gas tax increase and has publicly criticized his $300 million plan to renovate the statehouse in Trenton.
"We need to end the shutdown now. It's hurting small businesses and ordinary New Jerseyans," Guadagno continued. "Instead of political games, Governor Christie, Speaker Prieto and Senate President Sweeney should pass a budget that delivers property tax relief and puts taxpayers first."
Guadagno's comments came after NJ Advance Media released photos of Christie and his family relaxing on the beach Sunday morning. Christie told reporters during a news conference on Sunday he "didn't get any sun."
" 'I didn't get any sun,' " he told the media," photographer Andrew Mills wrote in a post explaining how he captured the viral images of Christie sunbathing with his family. "That wasn't true, and we had the irrefutable evidence."
Christie called into Fox 29's Good Morning Philadelphia Monday morning and defended his family's use of the governor's residence on Island Beach State Park, even as police continued to turn away cars, bicyclists, and joggers attempting to enter the popular beach.
"You can understand why a lot of people are upset," co-host Alex Holley told the governor. "They can't go to that beach, they want to be able to do what you're doing, and they can't."
"Well, I'm sorry, they're not the governor," Christie shot back.
The governor also tweeted out a photo of the New Jersey shoreline, noting that just 11 of the state's 130 miles of coastline are closed due to the government shutdown.