- New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy was photographed posing and laughing next to a cutout of outgoing Gov. Chris Christie lounging at the beach.
- The cutout was in reference to Christie’s widely panned decision to spend Fourth of July weekend with his family at a New Jersey beach after public beaches were shut down because the legislature failed to pass a budget.
- Murphy said he “couldn’t resist” posing for the photograph, while Christie slammed the move as “disappointing.”
New Jersey’s Democratic governor-elect took a shot at departing Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday during an event sponsored by the New Jersey Working Families Alliance in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.
Murphy was photographed grinning as he posed next to a cutout of Christie lounging in a beach chair:
Christie earned widespread criticism earlier this year when he and his family were pictured enjoying a day at New Jersey’s Island Beach State Park during the Fourth of July weekend, shortly after the state’s government shut down when the legislature failed to reach a budget compromise – shuttering public beaches.
The photos were posted online and immediately sparked outrage. When asked whether he thought it was good optics to stay at his beachside resort when the public couldn’t access many beaches, Christie replied: “That’s just the way it goes. Run for governor, and you can have a residence.”
He and his communications team spent much of that day and the next defending his decision, including claiming that although he was at the beach, he “didn’t get any sun” because “he had a baseball hat on.”
On Friday, Murphy told NJ Advance Media that he “couldn’t resist” standing next to the cutout of Christie during the event. “It was right in front of me!”
Christie condemned Murphy’s action, echoing criticisms that it was something you’d see on the campaign trail, not from a governor-elect.
He told NorthJersey.com that it was “disappointing because we’ve been so open and so welcoming to him, and not playing politics at all.”
Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and Democratic operative, won the New Jersey governor’s race in November after beating Republican candidate Kim Guadagno, who is currently the state’s lieutenant governor.