(CNN) - While New Jersey remains blanketed in snow, Gov. Chris Christie's staff is defending his trip to Disney World with his family that left control of the crisis in the hands of the Senate president.
Following local criticism, Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak mounted a forceful response to defend the Republican governor.
"It was Christmas week; his kids were home from school. It was a family vacation," Drewniak said in an e-mail. "The response to the storm has been the same as it would be under any circumstances."
Christie left Sunday – the day the storm started – for a vacation in Florida at Disney World, and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno left for Mexico before the storm hit. State Sen. Stephen Sweeney took the oath to become acting governor Sunday before declaring a state of emergency.
But New Jersey state representatives were critical of the situation that left the state's top executives out of the Garden State as it reacted to a blizzard that dumped two to three feet of snow throughout the region.
"We clearly made a mistake if we created the office lieutenant governor and wasted money if the lieutenant governor is not going to be here when the governor is out of state," state Democratic Sen. Raymond Lesniak told the New Jersey Star Ledger. "It's being handled very well by Sen. Sweeney, but you have to really question the purpose of the office."
The state legislature created the office of lieutenant governor in 2005, and the position was on the ballot in 2009. Guadagno won the election and took the oath of office in January.
Drewniak said the governor is in touch with his staff and that Sweeney is in regular contact with Christie's senior staff.
"This was definitely a big snow, but we are a northeastern state, and we get plenty of snow, including heavy hits like this," Drewniak said.
He acknowledged this is not the "most ideal situation," but said Christie is scheduled to return to the state on Thursday.
did I read that right? CNN has dubbed this a "Snow Crises"?
Now that there is pretty funny.
Listen at the neo cons, lol. Hey Christie run a state, President Obama runs the country, big difference. BTW remember the 900 plus vacations days from GWB. With that being said the man desires vacation time
Hey Gov. Christie, by all means, help yourself to another piece of cake........You look like you're starving!
Christie is good for his loud mouth, and has not created a single job in NJ. Cant wait to vote him out in 2013.
The Democrats are reaching if they are trying to make this into Christie's BP oil spill. But he should be flattered it is this important to them.
Yeah ok Tim, whatever you have to tell yourself to get you through the night!........He's done great things alright, like get rid of all of those useless little things like teachers and gutting education funding.........New Jersey is a joke! Where else can you find people dumb enough to pay 8 bucks for a pack of smokes and paying a TAX on EVERYTHING yet don't seem to have a pot to piss in as far as anything to show for all those tax revenues..........Can't even afford teachers or to educate your kids........How proud you all must be!
Governor Christie is a big, fat loud mouth who hates teachers and unions. Enough said.
Welcome to the 'Sunshine State" Gov.Christie. Hope you enjoyed the 28 degree nights and the warm, balmy 50degree days. As I hear it, we will be back in the 70's just when you leave on Thursday. Darn....Feel free to take some sunshine with you. As a 'transplant" from CT, I do however feel really bad for all the northeast that got hammered.
Where the President vacations makes little difference – the White House and all its communications equipment travel with him as a part of AF One. No governor has that advantage. Christie should have coordinated vacations with his Lt. Gov.
I don't care what anybody say's. I just don't like this man ( Hatin all the way from California)
I really am beginning to believe liberalism is a brain disease. Chris Christie for President in 2012.