After local lawmakers called him out for campaigning for president in New Hampshire while his state frantically prepared for a huge weekend snowstorm, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Friday afternoon he was "going home." Christie tweeted just before 1 p.m. he wanted to make sure his constituents felt safe and secure.
"The fact is — you are never not the governor," he wrote on Twitter, adding his wife, Mary Pat, planned to stay in New Hampshire.
Christie, who is gunning for the Republican presidential nomination, previously hadn't planned on leaving to deal with the storm, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“We’ve gone through this rodeo a bunch of times before. We know how to do it,” Christie said Thursday. Christie reportedly gave assignments for how to handle the storm to his team via phone earlier in the week.
Christie's earlier declarations that he was going to stay on the campaign trail while New Jersey dealt with inclement weather drew criticism from other politicians. New Jersey Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Chairwoman Annette Quijano, a Democrat, issued a statement Friday calling out the candidate for putting politics before public safety.
“If Governor Christie doesn’t return to New Jersey to oversee the state’s response to a blizzard and coastal flooding, then what’s the point of him even being governor anymore?" Quijano wrote. “Staying in New Hampshire would mean Governor Christie has quit on the people of New Jersey."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, had similarly harsh words for Christie. WLNY, New York, reported "most of New Jersey" was under a weekend blizzard warning due to the storm. "We are being warned that it could even be worse and we find this out with each storm — sometimes it’s less than we expected and sometimes it’s more, so for any governor, it’s time to come home," de Blasio told CNN.
De Blasio himself canceled an appearance in Washington this week because of the storm, Politico reported. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo nixed her trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as well.
Christie was in sixth place among GOP primary candidates as of Friday afternoon, according to national survey aggregator the HuffPost Pollster.
I'm sorry, NH but I gotta go home - we got snow coming. #Jonas
— Chris Christie (@ChrisChristie) January 22, 2016