By Michael Aron
Chief Political Correspondent
The last questioner at Christie’s town hall asked what he should tell his friends who are critical of the governor over the bridge fiasco.
“Your internal investigation concluded no culpability. I think these witch-hunt investigations still going on will come to the same conclusion, but now the rhetoric has switched to, well, he created culture that would have approved such behavior,” said Point Pleasnt Beach resident Len Ludovico.
Christie replied, the only culture he’s created is one of remarkable bi-partisan cooperation.
“If in fact I created a culture where people were going after each other, then how did we do all these things together with Republicans and Democrats?” Christie asked.
He basically dismissed the question, but in a revealing way.
“You’re never gonna hear me complain about it or talk about it unless somebody like you raises it because I’m a big boy and I understand this business and I understand that when you’re the guy, when you’re the governor, you’re the guy carrying the ball, you’re the guy they’re gonna try to tackle you. I get that and I got to live with it, that’s the way it goes. Some days I don’t mind it. Some days it gets me really upset. But in the end, this is the business we’ve chosen,” Christie said.
That was the most we’ve heard from Christie on the bridge scandal since his last Statehouse press conference nearly a month ago.
The town hall was in Brick, a town severely hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Christie tried to reassure the crowd that the state is doing all it can to channel federal aid their way.
But some weren’t buying it.
One man said he was disabled, had been flooded out, had moved eight times in the past year and a half and cannot get in to any of the local adult communities.
“I’m 51 years old. They were 55 and plus communities. Nobody will rent to me because I’m only 51,” Beach Haven West resident Joe Karcz. said.
He’d like to restore his house, but federal officials won’t pay for an outdoor shower, sliding doors or solar paneling.
“I was in Home Depot. They’ll give you free solar panels, free installation when you sign a 20 years contract. I thought we’re trying to reduce our carbon footprint and go green, and they told me it was a luxury item,” Karcz said.
“There are federal regulations which prevent you from improving the house you had before. So I’m sure that without knowing this particular federal regulation, that the adding of the solar panels would be considered an improvement,” Christie explained.
Here at the shore, it’s still more about the winds and the tides than the bridge.