Christie: ‘I Will Be Here’ As Joaquin Approaches

It was arguably Governor Christie’s response to Superstorm Sandy that propelled him into the national spotlight. Politics is always a subtext of a natural disaster. David Cruz talked to NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams about that aspect of today’s press conference.

Cruz says that Governor Christie made his bones on situations like the current one. “He took some flack for being on the campaign trail, of course he’s running for president right now, after that storm in June that caused damage in south Jersey. Today, the governor was intent on making the point that he’s on the job,” he said.

“We’re prepared; the team behind me and the folks they represent are prepared and we’ll continue to keep everybody informed as necessary. But I will be here. The Lieutenant Governor will be here. We’ll be traveling throughout the state and we’ll have more things to tell you over the course of the next couple of hours and days,” Christie said.

The governor was in suit and tie today, but he said that he’s ready to slip into his trademark storm response uniform, also know as the blue fleece, if needed.

“Mary Pat brought that up last night as I was getting off a 10 o’clock call. She goes, ‘By the way, where the hell’s that fleece?’ I haven’t seen it in a while. I believe it’s in my closet. But I have to tell you, Claude, I haven’t eyeballed that baby in a while, so when I get home from Boston tonight that’s one of the things I’ll be looking for,” Christie said.

On a more serious note, Christie said he’s not worried about reaching out to the President, if need be. “You’ll remember, he got criticized for that, too, after Sandy,” Cruz said.

“The President of the United States is busy with a lot of different things and I have respect for the office, but I know this much: If I feel the need to call the President of the United States, I can. And I believe he’ll take the call. It’s both of our jobs to do our job. And if anybody should learn anything about me from the experience during Sandy, eight days before a presidential race, for a guy that I was the biggest surrogate for in the country, I’ll do my job first,” Christie said.

The governor is in-state with the campaign on hold, at least through the weekend. “His message? ‘I’m here and I’m ready. Please get prepared and I’ll be talking to you again after the storm hits.'” Cruz said.

Christie has a private event in Boston tonight that he’ll fly back from tonight as well. Cruz said Christie’s plan is to stay in this area for the rest of the weekend.

“He did say that I’m better, meaning that he is better, and all of us are better having gone through Sandy,” Cruz saisd. “So, he’s kind of in that position of needing to make a point that he is ready, that he is here and then hope that it doesn’t get too bad.”

Christie admitted that one thing he didn’t think of before sandy was how gas stations would be affected. Cruz said, “He made it clear today. He issued an executive order that there’s no price gouging going on, in case that situation present itself again. So, the governor is making a point that he’s ready and we’ll see what happens this weekend.”