Christie Travels Like a Rock Star —on Others' Dime

Luxury trips paid for by Adelson, Jerry Jones, King Abdullah
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2015 7:40 AM CST
Christie Shows Taste for Luxury Travel
In this Jan. 24, 2015, photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Chris Christie has built a reputation as a regular guy opposed to excessive government spending—but the New York Times reports that his own travels often "indulged a taste that runs more toward Champagne at the Four Seasons," adding that "he has also quietly let others pay the bills." A 2012 trade mission to the Middle East that was chock full of Christie's family headed out on a private plane courtesy of billionaire Sheldon Adelson—who was opposing a bill in New Jersey to legalize online gambling (Christie ultimately signed the bill). Christie ended the trip in Jordan, where his entourage racked up $30,000 in hotel rooms and hung out with Bono. King Abdullah of Jordan covered the weekend's costs, which the Times notes would have been illegal had Christie been president or a senator.

Closer to home, there were trips to three Dallas Cowboys games on the personal plane of team owner Jerry Jones, a longtime friend of Christie's—Jones' company, on Christie's recommendation, scored a contract with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In other cases, taxpayers have paid for family trips, for instance, to the Super Bowl in 2013, ahead of New Jersey's hosting last year. That cost was more than $15,000, as the Record discovered, noting that the governor works to keep his expenses quiet. The Times notes that while Republicans often avoid getting mixed up with celebrities, Christie has hung out with everyone from Jamie Foxx to Howard Stern. He explains his travels thusly: "I relish these experiences and exposures, especially for my kids. I try to squeeze all the juice out of the orange that I can." Click for Times' full report. (It's been a rough 24 hours for the presidential contender.)

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