New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's second-in-command, Kim Guadagno, said it is "beyond words" that the embattled governor is spending the Fourth of July weekend sitting on a New Jersey beach closed to the public because of the state's government shutdown.
"If I were governor, I sure wouldn't be sitting on the beach if taxpayers didn't have access to state beaches. It's beyond words," Guadagno, the state's Republican lieutenant governor, said in a Facebook post.
"We need to end the shutdown now. It's hurting small businesses and ordinary New Jerseyans. Instead of political games, Governor Christie, Speaker Prieto and Senate President Sweeney should pass a budget that delivers property tax relief and puts taxpayers first."
Guadagno, who is running to succeed Christie in this year's gubernatorial election, is referencing photos that show the governor and his family sitting on an empty beach that is closed because of the state shutdown.
In the aerial photos taken by the Star-Ledger, Christie is sitting in a beach chair, wearing a T-shirt and hat, in the sand outside the state-owned governor's retreat at Island Beach State Park.
When asked about the photos Saturday, the Republican governor didn't seem phased by the outing or the optics of the photos.
"That's just the way it goes," Christie told reporters. "Run for governor, and you can have a residence."
Christie shut down the state government Friday night after the state legislature failed to pass a budget.
As a result of the shutdown, 40 state parks, recreational areas, historic sites, state beaches and Liberty State Park closed.
Christie, though, encouraged New Jersey residents Monday to hit the beach.
"NJ beaches are open in 119 of our 130 miles of coastline. Come and enjoy them—but use sunscreen and hydrate," he said on his Twitter account.