Why Chris Christie is so defensive about #Jonas

 Governor Chris Christie at a news conference in Sayreville, NJ., on Jan 23, 2016(Governor's Office/ Mykwain Gainey)

Governor Chris Christie at a news conference in Sayreville, NJ., on Jan 23, 2016(Governor's Office/ Mykwain Gainey)

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First, he says he’s not coming back to New Jersey. Then, he arrives in time for winter storm Jonas and says he was planning to all along – if the situation demanded his presence. He leaves after less than 40 hours and rushes back to New Hampshire for more campaigning (and a Patriots game). After the storm, he says there’s “no residual flooding damage.” Then, facing criticism, he returns to Jersey and clarifies.

It all seemed so… indecisive.

And some of his comments stung. While Jersey residents dealt with storm cleanup, the Gov issued dismissive statements from the trail – including this slice of vintage Christie: “I don’t know what you expect me to do? You want me to go down there with a mop?”

NJPR’s Matt Katz says it’s easy to understand Christie’s reluctance to leave New Hampshire. After all, it’s just two weeks to the primary. But Matt says Christie is running in large part on his response to Hurricane Sandy, and that “being a leader during this moment was critically important.”

Matt joins host David Furst to talk about the governor’s case of winter storm whiplash.

Matt’s new book is American Governor: Chris Christie’s Bridge to Redemption.

We’re also joined by Josh Rogers, Senior Political Reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio, with the latest on Christie’s standing in the state.

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The Christie Tracker is a production of New Jersey Public Radio and WNYC and featured on NewsWorks every Wednesday.

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