Gov. Christie addressed criticism over his response to this weekend's record flooding at the Jersey shore Monday with a question: "You want me to go down there with a mop?”
Christie returned to the campaign trail in New Hampshire Monday after spending time in New Jersey during the weekend’s blizzard, which flooded streets and homes in several shore communities and left thousands without power.
During a town hall meeting in New Hampshire Monday, Christie took a question from a woman who claimed she once attended school in Pennington, New Jersey. The woman asked on behalf of her family and friends at the shore, “Why are you here in New Hampshire campaigning instead of there, helping to survey the damages done by the coastal flooding from the storm?”
“Because it’s already done,” Christie replied. “It’s already done. Tell me why you think it isn’t.”
The woman told Christie her friends and family had sent her videos and pictures of flooding “all over the state.”
“All over the state?” Christie replied. “Really? There’s been one county that’s flooded in the state. That was Cape May County. So I don’t know where from all over the state, since we have 21 counties, where that’s happened. Second, I don’t know what you expect me to do. You want me to go down there with a mop?”
Christie told the woman that all roads in New Jersey were cleared, NJ Transit had returned to normal operations and workers helped any families who had flooding in their homes.
“No one needed to be evacuated,” Christie said. “People left voluntarily and went to see family and friends like we asked them to if they lost their power.”
Christie then addressed North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello, who told NBC 10 in Philadelphia that Saturday morning’s flooding was half a foot higher than when Sandy hit in 2012.
“I heard one crazy mayor down in South Jersey say this is worse flooding than Sandy,” Christie said.
“Here’s the one thing you need to know about that mayor. His town didn’t get hit by Sandy. So of course it’s worse than Sandy for him! He’s down in North Wildwood, which is south of Atlantic City, for those of you who do not have a masters in New Jersey geography as I do."
"He’s south of Atlantic City," Christie continued.
"The storm comes in on Atlantic City and the hurricane tail is whipping north. So if you’re south of where it came on Shore, you’re in good shape. So he makes the incredible statement, ‘It’s worse than Sandy!’ Well damn man, you didn’t get any flooding in Sandy! So if you got a foot of flooding it would be worse than Sandy.”
Christie then asked the woman for the names and numbers of all her family and friends in New Jersey, claiming he would call all of them personally to answer any of their questions.
Mayor Rosenello responded to Christie's comments Monday night.
"Unlike the governor who is in New Hampshire, I am in New Jersey and have been through this entire weather event," Rosenello said.
"I have been with our paid and volunteer rescue personnel throughout the weekend and have witnessed their rescues and heroic efforts throughout the weekend. His comments are disrespectful to the property owners and residents who went through a traumatic weather event."