WASHINGTON — National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden says a photographer managed to “capture the politics of an era” when he snapped a photo of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) lounging with his family and friends on an otherwise empty stretch of beach.
“Rarely does a photographer capture the politics of an era in one frame,” Snowden posted Monday on Twitter, along with The Star-Ledger’s front page showing Christie kicked back on a state beach that he’d ordered closed to the public amid a state government shutdown.
Snowden also retweeted a post from Steve Politi, the newspaper’s sports columnist, showing throngs of beachgoers crowded at one end of a long stretch of sandy shore.
On Sunday, NJ Advance Media published several aerial photos taken by Andrew Mills showing Christie, along with family and friends, at New Jersey’s Island Beach State Park, the site of an official governor’s residence. The park was one of several closed over the holiday weekend after lawmakers failed to pass a state budget.
In an interview with Fox 5 in New York on Monday, Christie mocked local media, saying, “What a great bit of journalism by The Star-Ledger” and “I really wonder about journalists who spend money flying planes to look whether people are actually where they said they would be.” He said he announced his plans to vacation at the New Jersey residence regardless of whether a shutdown occurred and dismissed the idea that the beach closure was in any way his fault.
In a separate interview Monday with Fox 29 in Philadelphia, Christie was asked about people who are upset about not being able to enjoy the beach over the holiday weekend.
“I’m sorry they’re not the governor,” he said. “This is a residence.”