- The Washington Times - Friday, July 28, 2017

Outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the recent controversy over his lounging on a closed public beach during a state government shutdown was the most hurtful thing his family has faced in the past eight years.

“They were more hurt by this latest episode than they’ve been hurt by anything else that has happened in the eight years and they don’t understand people’s unfairness and, quite frankly, their ignorance,” the two-term Republican governor said during Thursday night’s “Ask the Governor” broadcast on NJ 101.5 FM.

Mr. Christie was recently photographed by NJ Advance Media sunning himself on the beach behind the governor’s house at Island Beach State Park in the middle of a state government shutdown that had all beaches closed to the public during the Fourth of July weekend. The governor, who ordered the shutdown because lawmakers couldn’t agree on a budget, defended himself for using the beach because he lives there.

The photos of Mr. Christie comfortably lounging in a folding chair on an empty beach became a widely shared meme, with social media users Photoshopping the governor into comedic situations, but the governor said he’s avoided looking at any of them.

“I intentionally stayed away from them,” he said.

Mr. Christie said he was “surprised” by how upset his children were and said they “blamed themselves” for the mockery.

“They came to me and said, ‘It’s our fault, we should have just told you that we would just tell all of our friends to go away.’ And I said to them, no, this was my decision. You’re not the adults. I am,” he said. “And I made this decision.”

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