Christie ends shutdown, but beach pictures left an imprint

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed his final budget after a three-day state government shutdown that included a viral photo of him lounging on a state beach that was closed to the public because of a budget impasse.

The lame-duck Republican governor signed the $34.7 billion budget early Tuesday and sounded an unapologetic tone over the aerial photos snapped by NJ.com that showed him at the state governor’s residence at Island Beach State Park.

The pictures sparked a global reaction: countless memes featuring a Photoshopped cutout of Christie in the beach chair, headlines on international news sites and a full-scale media blitz from his spokesman.

Christie says it wasn’t a scandal because he was where he said he’d be: relaxing with his family.

In this Sunday, July 2, 2017, photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, uses the beach with his family and friends at the governor’s summer house at Island Beach State Park in New Jersey. Christie is defending his use of the beach, closed to the public during New Jersey’s government shutdown, saying he had previously announced his vacation plans and the media had simply “caught a politician keeping his word.” (Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media via AP)

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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