Christie apologizes for 'crazy mayor' comment during NJ flooding remarks

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Gov. Chris Christie says he apologized to a south Jersey mayor for a comment he made in the aftermath of flooding. (WPVI)

Gov. Chris Christie says he apologized to a south Jersey mayor for a comment he made in the aftermath of flooding during this weekend's massive snowstorm.

The controversial comments, which have come under fire on social media and in communities across south Jersey, came as part of an exchange during a town hall event in Hooksett, New Hampshire on Monday night.

"I heard one crazy mayor down in south Jersey say this is worse flooding than Sandy. Here's the one thing one thing you need to know about that mayor. His town didn't get hit by Sandy," Christie said.

Mayor Patrick Rosenello says he was shocked to hear Governor Chris Christie's comments about him, and was surprised again when he received a call from Christie on Tuesday morning to apologize.

"I think he was genuinely sorry for what he had said to me. I would like for him to let the residents and business owners and first responders down here know that he understands what we went through," Mayor Rosenello said.

Christie spoke about the apology at a news conference in Trenton Tuesday afternoon.

"I had a night to sleep on it and woke up this morning and didn't feel good about what I'd said about him," Christie said.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is defending his decision to return to the campaign trail after this weekend's record-breaking blizzard.

Christie's Monday night comments came after the governor was asked by a young woman at a town hall why he was campaigning in the state instead of helping survey damage caused by the snowstorm.

She said her family and friends in the state were concerned.

Video of the exchange shows Christie responding, "Well because it's already done."

He said only one county in the state experienced flooding and asked what she expected him to do.

"You want me to go down there with a mop?" he asked.

"The fact is, all the roads were cleared and NJ Transit was back up," Christie said. "For the people who did sustain flooding, we had folks on the ground to evacuate them if they needed to be evacuated. No one needed to be evacuated."

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Gov. Chris Christie offers an explanation for his response to this weekend's storm which brought flooding, beach erosion to southern New Jersey.

But for many residents cleaning up their flood-ravaged homes the damage is already done.

"We don't want him to come down with a mop but we'd like some support, we'd like to find a solution," said Sylvia Pittakas of North Wildwood.

"He could've went over the steps that were in progress to help the people who need it, instead of the back handed remark that he made," said Constance Kaplan.

At Zippy's bikes in Wildwood, owner Scott Chambers put out a display, complete with a mop. He said he is disgusted over Christie's remarks.

"He's been bullying everybody in the media and making us look like idiots. He's turned his back on us," Chambers said.

Christie tried to clarify his remarks at Tuesday's news conference, acknowledging the damage at the Jersey Shore.

"What I was objecting to Sunday, Monday and I object to today is any characterization that what happened in [this weekend's storm] to be anywhere near what happened in Sandy," Christie said.

The governor says damage assessments are still underway and that process is about two-thirds complete. That assessment will determine if the state can apply for federal disaster aid.

Related Topics:
politicsfloodingblizzard of 2016n.j. newsNorth Wildwood
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