With state-run parks and beaches in New Jersey closed over the holiday because of a government shutdown ordered by Gov. Chris Christie, there was nobody on Island Beach State Park on Sunday—apart from the governor and his family. NJ Advance Media took aerial photos of Christie, his wife, and others soaking up the sun on the otherwise empty beach near the governor's official retreat. "I didn't get any sun today," Christie told reporters in Trenton later in the day when discussing the shutdown. When told about the photos, spokesman Brian Murray admitted the governor had been on the beach, but claimed: "He did not get any sun." The spokesman added: "He had a baseball hat on."
Christie told reporters that he was spending the weekend at the retreat with his family and commuting to Trenton by state helicopter. "That's just the way it goes. Run for governor, and you can have a residence there," he said, per the BBC. He said he was "frustrated" by the shutdown and wants lawmakers to return Monday to solve a budget impasse. The New York Times notes that Christie—who was on the beach, one of the few free public ones in the state, while state police were turning away families at the gate—was widely mocked on social media for the visit, with one critic calling his behavior "grotesque." (With his term approaching its end, the GOP governor has one of the lowest approval ratings on record.)