TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie arrived at his son's baseball game this afternoon aboard a State Police helicopter.Text and file photo from the New Jersey Star-Ledger, via Reddit. I don't know whether in this era of cost-cutting and budgetary constraints politicians are just totally oblivious as to the public's perceptions of their activities, or whether they just don't give a f*** what the public thinks.
During the 5th inning, Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie got into the car, rode back to the helicopter and left the game...
"It is a means of transportation that is occasionally used as the schedule demands," said Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak in an email. "This has historically been the case in prior administrations as well, and we continue to be judicious in limiting its use."
The governor had no public events on his schedule, offering no insight to where he might have been traveling from. He had a private meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Drumthwacket, the governor's mansion, in Princeton. He is meeting with a group of Iowa donors who have publically expressed a desire to persuade him to run for president in 2012.
Christie was ferried to the field in a brand-new AugustaWestland helicopter, purchased at a cost to taxpayers of $12.5 million.
Addendum/update June 4:
First this happened -
Facing broad criticism for flying by helicopter to watch his son’s high school baseball game in Bergen County, Gov. Chris Christie refused today to refund the state for Tuesday’s $2,500-an-hour flight. "The governor does not reimburse for security and travel," a spokesman for the governor, Kevin Roberts, said in an e-mail message. "The use of air travel has been extremely limited and appropriate."..Then this -
As for Christie’s use of a car to get the 100 yards from the landing site to the ball park, which was ridiculed by Van Susteren and others, Jones said the cars were there for the governor’s safety.
"If the helicopter got called away for a higher priority mission, then the governor would be transported to his next location on the ground," Jones said.
After a firestorm of criticism, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made an about-face Thursday, reimbursing the state for his personal use of a state police helicopter because he said the story had become a distraction from the real problems facing the state.
Remaining unapologetic about his use of the helicopter to attend two of his son's baseball games and a political dinner with GOP campaign contributors from Iowa, Christie said that he has reimbursed the state about $2,100 and asked the state Republican Party to pay about $1,200 for his trip to see the donors.