Governor Christie Returns to NJ and a Blizzard of Criticism

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey

    A website, WheresChristie.com, mocks New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for leaving the state the day the Holiday Blizzard struck, and being gone all week during the big dig.

    But after arriving back with his wife and four children early Friday morning (after a six-hour flight delay), Christie took all of his critics to task.

    "All this carping and craziness about how could I leave the state stranded -- I was on the phone not only with my staff but with members of the press," Christie said.

    Governor Christie Returns & Responds

    [NY] Governor Christie Returns & Responds
    NJ Governor Chris Christie fires back at critics who are blasting him for being on a family vacation as his state dug out of a major mess.

    Nonetheless, frustrated motorists like Sarah Stinton of Long Branch, N.J. said they would have liked to have at least heard from their Governor more.

    "He could have done something from Florida as far as a news conference," Stinton suggested.

    "My first and most important responsibility as far as I'm concerned is as a husband and a father," Christie said in explaining that following his election a year ago, he promised his four children ranging in age from 7 to 17 that he would take them to Disney World for Christmas break.

    And he explained why Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, New Jersey's first Lt. Governor since a constitutional change, was away at the same time.

    In her case, he said her father has "stage 4 cancer" and had planned last summer to take the entire family of children and grandchildren on a two week cruise out of Mexico.

    The epicenter of the storm seemed to be Ocean and Monmouth Counties, both of which were crucial to his upset victory last year.

    And Sharon Puryear of Fair Haven, in Monmouth County, suggested he could have "made sure we had extra help, people working overtime."

    "I knew I had extraordinarily competent people that were gonna be on the ground here," Christie explained.

    He then added "We were communicating with each other and adjusting our plans the entire time."

    Telling NBCNewYork that he saw no need for "heads to roll," he said the state deserved an 'A' for effort and a 'B+' for execution, even though the last state road, Route 71 -- again in politically important Monmouth County -- wasn't fully reopened until Thursday night.

    State Democratic Party Chairman John Wisniewski accused the Governor of  "accepting no responsibility" according to a news release.

    "The Governor must still be in Fantasyland, where he thinks Tinker Bell can wave her magic wand and have everyone forget he went on vacation instead of staying to do his job during an emergency," said Wisniewski in his statement.

    "Just rolls off my back," said the Governor who added of the criticism "I expect it and if you're gonna let that stuff bother you you're not gonna last long in this job and I expect to last quite a while."

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