Christie slams Murphy for posing with Beachgate photo
New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy is getting some pushback for posing next to a cardboard cutout of Gov. Chris Christie lounging on a beach last summer.
Christie said that the photo sends a “terrible message” and accused Murphy of “playing politics” with the photo.
Murphy told NJ Advance Media during a Friday diplomatic trip to Puerto Rico that he was standing near the cutout in Glen Ridge on Thursday and "couldn't resist.” He brushed off the controversy Monday.
“Let’s not lose our sense of humor in the great state of New Jersey,” he said.
Christie came under intense criticism after he was photographed on a publically closed beach over Fourth of July weekend due to a government shutdown.
The relationship between the governor and the governor-elect seems to have gone downhill publicly after the two met once early after Murphy’s victory.
The two politicians exchanged letters about the state budget earlier this month. Murphy wrote to Christie asking him to freeze some spending so as not to worsen budget challenges. Christie wrote back that most of Murphy’s requests were "wholly inappropriate" and concerns "unfounded."
Soon-to-be state senator and Republican Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon says that Christie is a friend and respects Murphy. He says that there is room for both men to put aside politics and work with each other.
“I’m hoping this calms down now over the next several weeks and we stop with some of the pettiness and start working together,” he says.
Murphy takes office Jan. 16.