Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) took exception to a student who asked him during a Monday rally in New Hampshire why he wasn’t back in his state helping in the aftermath of the weekend’s brutal winter storm.
“All over the state? All over the state? Really? There’s been one county that’s flooded in the state. That was Cape May County,” he said at the Hooksett, New Hampshire, rally. “So I don’t know where from all over the state, since we have 21 counties, where that’s happened.”
He then quipped back: “Do you want me to go down there with a mop?”
Cape May County saw record flooding that reached nine feet, ABC News reported.
“Because it’s already done,” he said of why he didn’t need to be in New Jersey. “It’s already done.”
He said emergency responders were able to handle the situation, and that just 500 of 96,000 people who lost power due to the storm were still without power. He said the state is still assessing damage in Cape May County and is assisting businesses in applying for loans and grants to help repair damages.
“All of the water had receded back, so for your friends and family who are concerned about why I’m not there, I just wonder what it is they think I’d be doing today,” Christie said. “You know, I’m the governor, not the chief engineer.”
He did add that he was in the state at the height of the storm monitoring its status.
“By the way, you know what the National Weather Service called the flooding?” Christie asked, according to Philadelphia’s local NBC affiliate. “Moderate. Except you’re watching CNN, and they have got nothing else to show. Because ploughing snow is pretty boring. So when you see water flowing in with little icebergs on them, you say, ‘Oh, look at that.’ It’s not good.”
Christie then asked the student for the names and numbers of the friends and family members she had mentioned were sending pictures of the storm’s aftermath in New Jersey. He said he’d call all of them himself Monday night.
Christie is focusing intently on New Hampshire ahead of its February 9 primary. He stands at 3.7% nationally in the RealClearPolitics average of several presidential polls, good for sixth place among the GOP primary field. The same website’s average has him at 7.3% in New Hampshire, which also puts him in sixth place.
Here’s footage of Christie’s “mop” statement from Monday:
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